Emirates a mover and shaker on the fashion runways

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Airline transports 600 tonnes of clothing from Spain to Dubai every month

Supermodels are not the only movers and shakers in the world of haute couture, with dedicated followers of fashion relying on more than just the likes of Spanish catwalk queens Esther Canadas and Eugenia Silva to stay in tune with the latest trends.

Emirates, the Dubai-based international airline, also plays a key role by bringing cutting-edge designs to high streets and malls across the Middle East and Asia in time for every new season.

The carrier’s freight division, Emirates SkyCargo, transports thousands of tonnes of clothing into the region each year and is an integral link between the UAE and Spain, a hub of fashion manufacturing, exporting a host of leading brands such as Mango, Zara, Manolo Blahnik, Massimo Dutti, Pull & Bear and Pepe Jeans.

On 1st August, Emirates will launch the only scheduled passenger service between Dubai and Spain with its inaugural flight to Madrid, building on the successful freight service it has been operating since 2006.

Every month more than 600 tonnes arrive from Zaragoza on two weekly Boeing 747 freighter flights, meaning that Emirates SkyCargo has been delivering an average of 7200 tonnes of garments to Dubai every year since launching flights into Spain.

Ram Menen, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo, said: “Emirates is a major player on both airport and fashion runways. Dubai has built a strong reputation as the shopping capital of the region and we are delighted to have contributed to that success by ensuring the latest styles are always available.

“However, our role is not confined to just bringing all the top labels to the UAE. We also transport a similar volume of textiles from the Far East to the Spanish clothing manufacturers every week.

“The freight operation to Spain is also an important route for various consumer goods, such as furniture and electrical products, and perishables like fish, while Dubai-bound commodities also include manufactured goods and spare parts for the car industry.

“These trade links provided the platform for Emirates to launch the passenger service to Madrid, further strengthening our ties with Spain.”

The UAE has been listed as a priority fashion market by the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX), and the list of Spanish brands found in Dubai’s shopping malls is extensive.

Numerous other major Spanish labels – including Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, 13 Búho Street, Pablosky and Camper, Loewe, Carrera y Carrera, Cortefiel, Pedro del Hierro, Tuc Tuc, Women’s Secret – also export to the UAE through Emirates, and in 2008 the goods had a combined value of AED 428 million (USD 116 million).

The daily, non-stop passenger service will make the Spanish capital Emirates’ 25th destination in Europe and is one of six new routes to be announced for 2010. Tokyo and Amsterdam have already launched, while Baghdad (1st July), Prague (1st July) and Dakar (1st September) will come online in the coming months, taking the airline’s total number of destinations to 105.

Spain, with a population of more than 45 million, is one of the most visited countries in the world. In 2007, nearly 60 million tourists arrived in Spain, making the country the second largest destination for world tourism, according to Spanish government figures.

EK flight 141 will depart Dubai at 0725hrs and arrive in Madrid at 1320hrs. The return flight, EK 142, leaves Madrid at 1615hrs, getting into Dubai at 0105hrs the following day. The route will be served by an A330-200, offering 12 seats in First Class, 42 in Business and 183 in Economy.

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