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Adelaide was treated to its first taste of Emirates when one of its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft made a flying visit to Adelaide Airport earlier this week, ahead of the 1st November start of services between the South Australia capital and Dubai.
More than 250 guests – including the Deputy Premier of South Australia, the Honourable John Rau MP, the Governor of South Australia, His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AC CSC RANR and travel industry partners – were hosted by Salem Obaidalla, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Far East & Australasia, as they witnessed the aircraft’s arrival and the traditional water cannon salute.
The guests were welcomed on board the aircraft and experienced their first taste of Emirates’ renowned on-board product, including Private Suites in the only First Class international service offering for South Australian travellers, lie-flat massage beds in Business Class, and spacious seating in Economy Class.
Passengers in all classes can enjoy Emirates’ award-winning ‘ice’ Digital Widescreen, the industry’s most sophisticated video and audio system, offering 1,400 channels of on-demand entertainment – the largest selection of programming in the sky.
“Emirates has long held ambitions to operate flights to Adelaide, so it is exciting to be here today as we look forward to the benefits that will flow from this launch, which includes publicising ‘destination Adelaide’ across our ever expanding network.” said Mr Obaidalla.
“In comparison to Australia’s other capital cities, Adelaide is underserved by international carriers, relative to its population size. When our service goes daily from 1st February, it will mean nearly 5,000 additional international seats per week on the route, representing a 30 per cent increase for the market, which will boost jobs and investment in South Australia’s AUS$ 5.3 billion tourism sector1, and with trade benefitting from the 14 tonnes of commercial cargo space on each flight,” added Mr Obaidalla.
“Today’s event builds on the momentum of the recently announced Emirates and Qantas Global Aviation Partnership that, subject to regulatory approval, from April 2013 will give travellers a seamless Australian and international network – including direct connectivity from Emirates’ global network to Port Lincoln and Olympic Dam via Qantas, exclusive frequent flyer benefits and world-class travel experiences,” said Mr Obaidalla.
“We look forward to getting to know South Australia, and flying leisure and business travellers from across our global route network to Adelaide,” Mr Obaidalla concluded.
The service will carry more than 200,000 passengers per year between Adelaide and Dubai, with the UK and Europe expected to be strongest markets for both inbound and outbound travel. It will also open up Adelaide’s first direct flight links with the Middle East, leading to increased opportunities for local businesses and exporters. Since 1996 when Emirates flights began to Melbourne with three weekly services, Australian exports to the UAE have enjoyed an average annual growth rate of 10%.
Also present at the travel industry Emirates preview was Hiran Perera, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Cargo Planning & Freighters; Walter Riggins, Emirates’ Divisional Vice President Airport Services (Outstations); Barry Brown, Emirates Vice President Australasia; Luc Delcomminette, Vice President Arabian Adventures; Ravishankar Mirle, Emirates’ Vice President, Cargo Commercial and Paul Jury, Emirates’ new District Manager for South Australia and the Northern Territory.
Emirates flight EK440 will depart Dubai every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday at 0200hrs, arriving in Adelaide at 2050hrs. The return flight leaves Adelaide at 2235hrs and arrives in Dubai at 0515hrs the following day.
1 Data provided by South Australian Tourism Commission Factsheet – Issue 89 June 2012