In the two-week run-up to Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines, Emirates Airline reported higher seat load factors than usual and a surge in demand for passengers travelling to Manila.
From January 1 to 14, Emirates transported a total of 13,500 passengers to Manila, many of whom were travelling to witness the arrival and visit of Pope Francis.
It said passengers came from as far away as the United States, Canada and Europe, transiting via a convenient single stop at Dubai International Airport to Manila.
The airline said 74 percent of the passengers originated in 99 different cities, reflecting Emirates’ vast overseas network to support global tourism.
“At Emirates, we are committed to offering a range of options for passengers wishing to travel to the Philippines, especially during busy seasons and momentous occasions such as the visit of the Pope,” Barry Brown, Emirates’ divisional senior vice president for Commercial Operations East, said in a statement.
“We remain committed to the Philippines and to the interests of its consumers,” he added.
Emirates has operated flights between Dubai and Manila since 1990, and remains firmly committed to the Philippine market. In 2013, Emirates invested almost $100 million through direct expenditures in the Philippines.
Its three daily flights from Manila also supported over 4,300 jobs in the Philippines last year through direct employment as well as via the supply chain of catering, ground handling and other associated air travel services.