China Airlines, the Taiwan-based carrier, relocated its regional base to Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubai, (IATA: DWC) on April 16.
The first flight, which arrived at 1000 from Taipei, was welcomed by a traditional water salute by executives from the airline and Dubai Airports.
The Taiwanese carrier uses the UAE as an intermediate stopover on its cargo flights between Taiwan and Europe. It will operate flights from Taipei to Dubai and onwards to Amsterdam, Luxembourg and Frankfurt using its fleet of Boeing 747s.
China Airlines joins more than 25 scheduled and charter airlines – which includes home carrier Emirates SkyCargo – that operate from the airport to more than 60 destinations.
With the airport handling all of Dubai International’s freighter flights during the planned maintenance closure of DXB’s runways last summer, freight volumes surged 262% to 758,371 tonnes for the full year 2014, up from 209,209 tonnes in 2013.
“It is a great pleasure to welcome China Airlines to DWC. They join an increasing number of airlines which are recognising DWC as an important cargo hub with its world class facilities, flexible schedules, proximity to Jebel Ali Port and the fact that is it an ideal transit point between east and west,” said Majed Al Joker, SVP Operations DWC at Dubai Airports.