Dubai: Emirates Airlines, which brought to India the double decker Airbus A-380, will invest $2 million in setting up an exclusive lounge at the newly inaugurated swanky Terminal-3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi.
The airline, which currently has about 900 employees working for it in India, is also looking to hire more.
“We are opening more lounges for business people in India. It would be exclusive lounge at the Delhi airport. This is something that we are looking forward to,” Majid Al Mualla, Emirates senior vice-president (Commercial Operations West Asia and Indian Ocean) told PTI here.
He said soft opening of the new lounge is expected by the end of August. Currently, there is a common lounge for various airlines.
Asked about the kind of investments that the airline would be putting in setting up the exclusive lounge, he said as per the plan they have earmarked $2 million for each lounge. In February this year, Emirates had opened their lounge at the Mumbai airport.
“There will be other points in India where we would be opening lounges in the future. We have very good healthy business people in each sector. As soon as you reach 75% load factor, one starts looking at having own lounge,” Mualla said.
The airline, which currently operates 184 weekly flights from 10 destinations in the country, is looking at a growth of 15% in passenger load during the current financial year.
Asked about the employment chances with the airline looking bullish on the Indian market, Mualla said the lounges were an opportunity to recruit more.
“As of now we are having about 900 people working in India but this number will go up. We are hiring more people in our call centre and as soon as we open lounges, we will have more people,” he said.
Mualla said in the last five years, the growth coming out of India is “tremendous”.
“It is not just the traditional load from India to the Middle-East. We have seen a tremendous growth to US, Europe and even to leisure destinations. There is lot of mix of traffic through India and this is good,” he said adding, “We are looking at a growth of 15% in traffic during the current financial year from India.”