Warsaw Airport: Air Transfer Center of Eastern Europe?

Okęcie airport in Warsaw may be the air change center in this part of Europe. Warsaw-Beijing and Warsaw-Dubai are new flight routes from Poland. Okęcie airport in Warsaw may be on its way to becoming a major international hub. LOT Polish Airlines, the national airline based in Warsaw, has announced that it will open a new route next year to Beijing, China. And it hopes to do the same to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, the daily newspaper Rzeczpospolita reported.

Ticket sales to Beijing have already started, the newspaper said, with LOT scheduled to make three flights a week beginning in March. The Dubai flight is still in the planning stages and is being negotiated with Emirates Airline. Emirates Airline, based in Dubai, operates about 2,640 flights each week, serving 87 cities in 59 countries in Europe, North America, Middle East, Africa, India, Asia-Pacific and the “kangaroo route” between Europe and Oceania. Chief executives of LOT and Emirates will meet next month to discuss an air connection. Emirates may fly from Warsaw to Dubai, with LOT flying from the Emirates to Poland. Emirates currently flies to Dubai from four German airports. LOT already cooperates with Emirates and flies passengers to Germany for the connecting flights.

A direct flight from Warsaw would be about four hours shorter and a few hundred Polish zloty cheaper than the one connecting through Frankfurt, Germany. According to Rzeczpospolita, a ticket from Warsaw to Dubai currently costs 1,500 zloty (less than 400 euro). The Warsaw-Dubai service, however, is not going to compete heavily for the lowest fares. The emphasis will be on promoting more expensive business class fares. Passengers also will be enticed by a special promotion for hotel accommodations in Dubai. Economy passengers can expect at least 20 percent fare discount, while business passengers will have transportation between the airport and hotels included in the price of the ticket. If Germany and the Emirates inaugurate a new flight from Berlin, the Warsaw connection could be delayed. But that may be unlikely as it would pose new competition for Lufthansa, the German flag carrier.

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