, anything is possible - their goal seems to be a very large route system connecting all continents via their Dubai hub, EK
has a large fleet of long range and ultra long range aircraft with more and more on the way with a view to further expansion. Direct flights between key South American cities and the Gulf may sound risking, but EK
can afford the risk and is willing to take it - EK
is also, of course, looking at all of the connection possibilities available - on to India, Asia and Australia. Even if some flights would actually be faster via the Pacific, EK
can still compete as they will offer one-stop service to these destinations with a connection in user friendly Dubai airport (instead of some very difficult European airports or, even worse for Brazilian citizens especially, visa unfriendly US airports) on very modern aircraft with an airline known for excellent service. South America is also a market where EK
will not have to compete for connecting traffic with industry favorites such as SQ
which are also known for their good service.
I would not be surprised to see EK
open 3 or 4 nonstop flights a week between Buenos Aires and Dubai, a daily nonstop flight between Sao Paolo and Dubai, and possibly 3 or 4 nonstops per week between Rio and Dubai....the Rio and Sao Paolo flights could always be combined if traffic does not meet expectations. Originally, EK
mentioned (or suggested on their web site only Rio and BA
as future destinations, but I am certain that they would want to tap into the lucrative Sao Paolo business market). Also, dont forget there are many in South America and the Gulf with adequate funds to buy full fare first and business class tickets on EK
- this service will certain not be a back-packers express and will not be marketed towards value minded "ethnic travellers" returning home to visit families or the like. These services will appeal to expense account business travellers and higher end tourists - I am sure that many wealthy Gulf residents would not mind a holiday in very beautiful Rio!
This could be a winner for EK
.......due to their innovation and financial situtation, they can afford to take risks that other airlines simply cannot take plus they can afford to take time and let a route mature. Look at EK
's service to Australia and New Zealand, whoever thought Ek would become a major player in that market?