Canada in line for $480 million windfall from new Emirates flights

- Extra Emirates services would create over 2,800 new jobs

- Major boost to tourism and local economies

TORONTO, Feb. 23 /CNW/ - New Emirates flights into Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary would bring $480 million of economic benefits and over 2,800 jobs to Canada, new research shows.

The study by independent transportation and tourism experts InterVISTAS Consulting, was revealed by Emirates Airline and British Columbia Transportation Minister Shirley Bond, on behalf of Premier Gordon Campbell, in Vancouver today.

The research outlined the projected increase in tourism spend, taxes and economic activity resulting from the proposed services, which would significantly increase passenger traffic and cargo export capacity.

"Emirates Airline is seeking federal government approval to progressively increase connections between Canada, the Middle East and Asia," said Andrew Parker, Senior Vice President International Affairs at Emirates. "By growing leisure and business traffic, we can help to strengthen Canada's tourism, trade and investment sectors - as well as increase traffic for domestic airlines."

"This study identifies a great economic opportunity and highlights the need for more progress on Open Skies agreements to remove barriers to international tourism and commerce," said Premier Gordon Campbell. "As a province and a country, we need to capitalize on services like those offered by Emirates Airline to realize our full economic potential."

"During my recent visit to the United Arab Emirates, it was very apparent that Alberta needs to have direct international air access from key markets like the UAE in order to stay competitive in the global economy," said Premier Ed Stelmach. "We will continue to urge the federal government to pursue more open sky agreements to help strengthen our province's business and tourism opportunities."

InterVISTAS, whose clients number airports, airlines and governments around the world, including Transport Canada, concluded the study in early 2010. The research examined the impact of Emirates increasing its current three-weekly Dubai to Toronto flights to daily and double-daily services, and adding a daily service to Vancouver and Calgary.

The study showed that expanding Emirates' services would produce the following benefits for Canada:

    
    -   274,927 new passengers travelling through Toronto, Calgary and
        Vancouver airports annually
    -   2,859 new full-time jobs created across Canada
    -   $115.4 million in new economic activity at airports in Toronto,
        Calgary and Vancouver annually
    -   $82.6 million in new tourism spending annually
    -   An additional $246 million in new spin-off economic activity across
        Canada annually
    -   $38.1 million in new tax revenue annually
    

The study also highlighted the creation of an additional 27,000 tons of cargo export capacity for Canadian goods between Canada, Dubai and points beyond. Currently, demand for cargo space for Canadian goods on Emirates flights exceeds capacity, with space routinely sold out months in advance.

"This survey confirms our long-held belief that Emirates can act as an important facilitator for economic growth in Canada," added Andrew Parker. "Not only would the services create new jobs, increased tax revenue and tourism spending; but through our extensive global network, we would provide Canada with enhanced links between businesses and greater access to international capital and trade markets."

Canada's domestic carriers stand to benefit significantly from the projected growth in foreign tourists and business travellers. No Canadian carrier has ever offered direct flights to Dubai, which is not only a strategic hub for the Middle East but also a key gateway between East and West.

"Emirates is committed to supporting Canada through the promotion of business and tourism traffic," said Parker. "Canada's vast beauty and world class attractions have been seen by millions of Olympic viewers. We want to capitalize on this opportunity by flying more tourists and business people to Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary."

"Increased Emirates Airline services to Canada would provide a significant economic stimulus to tourism and trade in Canada. The increased air services would also create additional revenue for Canadian airports as no Canadian carrier currently offers these air services," said Dr. Michael Tretheway of InterVISTAS Consulting, the authors of the study.

Copies of the study are available at: www.emirates.com/economic

About Emirates

Emirates, the award-winning carrier of the United Arab Emirates, is the world's third most profitable airline. Currently among the 20 largest international carriers, it is also one of the fastest-growing. Emirates' hub is in Dubai, which pursues an Open Skies policy where 130 airlines compete in free and fair competition.

The airline currently serves 101 cities around the globe with a young and technologically advanced fleet of 145 wide-bodied aircraft that are equipped with industry-leading comforts in the air. Additionally, Emirates has 146 wide-bodied aircraft on order, worth over US$50 billion, and is the leading customer of the Airbus A380 with eight in its fleet and 50 on order. Since its launch in 1985, Emirates Airline has received more than 300 international awards in recognition of its efforts to provide unsurpassed levels of customer service.

About InterVistas

The InterVISTAS Consulting Group is a leading management consulting company with extensive expertise in the transportation and tourism industries. InterVISTAS has offices in Canada, the United States, Europe and the Caribbean, and have completed projects with clients in 60 countries worldwide.

    
                                 Fact Sheet
                                 ----------
      Economic Benefit of Increased Emirates Airlines Flights to Canada
      -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Daily service to Toronto
    -   61,027 new passengers on the route annually
    -   709 new full-time jobs
    -   $30.3M in new direct economic activity at Pearson International
        Airport
    -   $18.5M in new direct tourism spending
    -   An additional $60.9M in new spin-off economic activity annually
    -   $10.3M in new direct tax revenues

    Double-daily service to Toronto
    -   154,818 new passengers on the route annually
    -   1550 new full-time jobs
    -   $57.6M in new direct economic activity at Pearson International
        Airport
    -   $46.8M in new direct tourism spending
    -   An additional $120.4M in new spin-off economic activity annually
    -   $21.6M in new direct tax revenues

    Daily service to Calgary
    -   69,141 new passengers on the route annually
    -   620 new full-time jobs
    -   $26.0M in new direct economic activity at Calgary International
        Airport
    -   $20.4M in new direct tourism spending
    -   An additional $62.7M in new spin-off economic activity annually
    -   $8.2M in new direct tax revenues

    Daily service to Vancouver
    -   50,968 new passengers on the route
    -   689 new full-time jobs
    -   $31.8M in new direct economic activity at Vancouver International
        Airport
    -   $15.4M in new direct tourism spending
    -   An additional $62.9M in new spin-off economic activity annually
    -   $8.3M in new direct tax revenues

    (Source: InterVISTAS, Economic Impact Study for Emirates Airline:
    Additional Flights between Dubai and Canada, February 2010)
    

SOURCE Emirates Airline

For further information: For further information: Jennifer Rideout, Temple Scott Associates, (416) 529-0865 or jrideout@tsa.ca; Miranda Germani, Temple Scott Associates, (416) 360-6183 extension 238 or mgermani@tsa.ca; Olga Petrycki, Punch Canada Inc., (416) 360-6522 extension 226 or olga@punchcanada.com

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