Emirates says it will decide in 2015 whether to expand its Emirates Executive offering with further aircraft, one year after launching the high-end charter service with a single Airbus A319.

The Dubai-based carrier is making its debut on the MEBA static display, exhibiting the narrowbody, which includes 10 suites - an enhancement of the airline's first class product - with a forward lounge and dining area, and a shower and spa at the rear.

Emirates divisional senior vice-president for planning, aeropolitical and industry affairs, Adnan Kazim, says that, although the airline has been "testing the water with the Emirates brand in this market", the first 12 months were "extremely successful", with 450h flown.

"We have gained a lot of knowledge and are looking at whether we can extend with the same size of aircraft or perhaps something smaller," he says. "It might be next year or the year after that, but we are moving positively and hitting our benchmarks. Next year will be a good year to determine what we do."

Emirates' Gulf rival Qatar Airways has been operating its own dedicated executive charter service for several years with a fleet of Bombardier jets. It also has 10 Gulfstream G650ERs and G500s on order.

Kazim says the A319 has been attracting custom from beyond the Middle East, including from India, China, Russia and Africa. Typical missions are 7-8h, he says, which puts Europe, most of Africa and a number of Asian cities within reach. Flights to the USA require one stop.

Source: Flight Daily News