LONDON – Emirates will add Porto to its portfolio of routes to kickstart further development in 2019.

The service will operate on a four times per week basis from July 2 this year.

This is currently the second Portuguese destination that Emirates will operate in, the other being Lisbon.

The equipment of choice for the airline will be the Boeing 777-300ER, offering eight seats in First Class, 42 in Business and 310 in Economy.

It is understood that Porto will enable connectivity to Dubai from urban areas across the Spanish border such as Vigo and Santiago de Compostela as well as other areas across Portugal, which will offer the population there flights onwards to Africa, Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

Commenting on the route announcement was Sir Tim Clark, the President of Emirates who emphasised how this is part of the Portuguese strategy.

“Porto is currently enjoying increased levels of tourism, which is also reflective of the growth in the number of visitors to Portugal as a whole.”

“The introduction of this new flight, along with our twice daily Lisbon service, will help meet this growing demand from both leisure and business travellers, as well as provide them with more choice, flexibility and connectivity when travelling to and from Portugal,” 

The service will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays alike.

EK197 will depart Dubai at 0915L, arriving into Porto for 1430L. The return, EK198 will depart Porto at 1735L, arriving back into Dubai at 0415L the next morning.

The timings of these flights will offer better connection times on flights such as Luanda, Johannesburg, Bangkok, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Sydney.

Emirates SkyCargo will also benefit from this new route as it will offer up to 18 tonnes of cargo space on each flight, which will no doubt increase exporting opportunities for local businesses.

It remains clear that Emirates is positioning themselves further into the Summer season, especially with a newly refurbished runway which will bring operations back to normal.

With the likes of Dubai World Central progressing, it will no doubt present some route announcements or operation movements between the two in years to come.