With the launch of Emirates’ services to Stockholm less than a month away, Sweden is expected to receive an economic boost thanks to the airline’s extensive global network.
“As well as attracting new trade and investment into Sweden, Emirates will play an important role in supporting the country’s US$2.5 billion tourism industry, introducing new audiences to Stockholm and drawing in visitors from a host of points across the globe, including China, Japan, Australia, Korea and numerous points in the Middle East,” said Hubert Frach, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations West.
Sweden is the most visited country among the Nordic nations, with five million international travellers in 2011, projected to grow to 5.4 million by 2016. The Travel and Tourism Competitive Index (TTCI) ranked Sweden as the world’s fifth most attractive destination for travel and tourism industry development. This is primarily driven by Sweden’s stable economic growth, rising government expenditure on infrastructure improvements and tourism promotional efforts.
From Sweden, the number of international travellers is projected to grow from 13.1 million to 18.6 million by 2016. Popular destinations for Swedes include Bangkok, Beijing, Tokyo, Phuket and Hong Kong. Dubai has become a popular destination for Swedish holidaymakers with over 15,000 Swedes visiting the city on a yearly basis.
“We are delighted that Emirates will shortly operate a direct link between Stockholm and Dubai. This kind of groundwork is exactly what is needed to bolster already excellent trade ties between Sweden and the UAE, in addition to the wider Gulf countries. We also hope that this will enable more people to discover Sweden as an attractive tourist destination,” said Counsellor Lennart Nilsson of the Embassy of Sweden.
“The new service will also accelerate the trade ties which have grown between the UAE and Sweden in recent years. Despite the challenges of the global economic downturn, the value of goods Sweden exports to the UAE has risen by over 12% per cent since 2011, totalling over US$ 811 million in 2012. With a direct air link between the two countries, we fully expect this growth pattern to continue, and new business opportunities to be fostered,” Mr Frach continued.
There are nearly 200 Swedish companies that currently operate in the UAE, supporting the growing trade links to Sweden through import volumes estimated at US$ 34 million. The 4,000 Swedish citizens residing in the UAE add to the interesting multicultural mix of the country.
In Stockholm, Emirates will have a team of 20 employees, covering sales, reservations and airport duties. Emirates’ operations will also benefit third party suppliers such as catering companies and ground handlers, in addition to firms that deal with business and leisure traffic.
Emirates SkyCargo has been operating freighter flights to the Swedish city of Gothenburg since 2003, supporting the trade of pharmaceuticals, plastics, iron and steel, heavy machinery, vehicles and vehicle parts and furniture. In 2012 alone, Emirates SkyCargo carried over 1,600 tonnes. Emirates SkyCargo will offer 238 tonnes of extra belly-hold capacity per week on the new service to Stockholm.
Emirates will operate the Boeing 777-200LR between Dubai and Stockholm. From 4th September, Emirates flight EK157 will depart Dubai at 0715hrs* and land in Stockholm at 1200hrs the same day. EK158 will depart Stockholm at 1355hrs arriving in Dubai at 2255hrs.
*Flight times as per summer scheduling.