News Emirates eyes Middle Eastern LCC

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Emirates eyes Middle Eastern LCC

Emirates has announced plans to launch a low cost carrier.

Emirates has announced plans to launch a low cost carrier (LCC), responding to rising demand for budget air travel in the Middle East.

The as yet unnamed subsidiary airline will be based in Dubai – and as well as providing cheap air travel within the region, will link the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the neighbouring zones of southern Europe and central Asia.

Launched in 2003, fellow UAE-based LCC Air Arabia has welcomed the idea of low budget competition in the region.

Air Arabia offers four flights per week to Kazakhstan, a central Asian route that the new Dubai-based carrier is likely to follow, extending the reach of the Emirates Group to new destinations.

Emirates’ decision to take plans forward for its own LCC were reportedly influenced by UAE prime minister and vice president, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who recently urged: "There is a need for an LCC in the region."

Airbus’ record-sized A380 aircraft could play a part in the new airline’s operations, with Emirates recently placing an order for 58 of the jets, constituting 30 per cent of Airbus’ global A380 orderbook.