By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com
December 2012 | Despite the fact that Dubai International Airport will increase capacity from 60 million to 75 million with the opening of Concourse 3 at the end of 2012, the airport is still witnessing capacity constaints, especially with hub carrier Emirates continuing its stellar growth pace. This means, however, that during peak hours too many aircraft are competing for a limited number of available gates, with the result that in many occasions aircraft have to be parked on remote stands and passengers shuttled between the aircraft and the airport terminal.
In order to offer its First Class and Business Class customers “a seamless, premium travel experience” if their flight arrives or departs away from the terminal, Emirates has recently introduced a fleet of custom-built VIP shuttles. According to Emirates, the rather opulent shuttle buses are “designed to reflect the ambiance and quality of the onboard experience.”
“We are constantly reviewing every touch point along the journey of our premium class passengers, to find ways we can further enhance their travel experience with Emirates,” said Tony Chandler, VP Product Development and Operations Improvement at Emirates. “With the introduction of the luxury transfer shuttles, customers will have no interruption to the ambiance and comfort that they have come to expect on Emirates’ premium cabins.”
41 transfer shuttles are currently in operation – 15 dedicated for First Class and 26 for Business Class passengers – and Emirates says it has invested over AED 73 million (USD 20 mln, EUR 15 mln) in the custom-built busses. The new shuttles add to other Emirates’ services for premium class customers such as a complimentary chauffeur service to and from the airport.