Emirates, has extended its South American network by linking Dubai with Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, further broadening the airline's reach across the Americas.
Emirates' inaugural Flight 247 made its first landing at Galeao-Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport in Rio de Janeiro, where it was initiated by a traditional water cannon salute.
The flight, operated by Argentine Captain Marcos Medina, then departed for its first onwards connection to Buenos Aires, where government and airport officials led by Enrique Meyer, the Argentinean Minister of Tourism, welcomed the Emirates VIP delegation headed by Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President - Passenger Sales Worldwide.
Other members of the VIP delegation aboard the flight included the Argentinean Ambassador to the UAE, Ruben E. Caro; UAE Ambassador Mohammed Eissa Al Zaabi; Abdulla Ali Al Saboosi, Director, Department of American and Pacific Affairs, UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Adnan Kazim, Divisional Senior Vice President, Planning and Research and Nigel Page, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, the Americas.
This new linked service to two of the most economically vibrant cities in South America will not only boost trade ties with the UAE, but will also introduce travellers to Emirates' route network spanning points across the globe," said Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President - Passenger Sales Worldwide.
"Emirates will offer customers in Brazil and Argentina the most efficient and comfortable route to the Middle and Far East, including the airline's four destinations in China and two gateways in Japan, which are key trading partners for both countries," added Mr. Antinori.
The Dubai-Rio de Janeiro-Buenos Aires flight is operated by a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft offering eight First Class Private Suites, 42 lie-flat beds in Business Class and 304 seats in Economy Class.
Emirates now flies to 118 destinations in 69 countries. Over the next two months, the airline will launch a further five destinations: Dublin, Lusaka, Harare, Seattle and Dallas.
Emirates adds Vietnam to its expanding global network
Emirates airlines continued its expansion in South East Asia with the addition of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to its global network from 4th June 2012.
Emirates will use an Airbus A330-200 in a two class configuration on the route to Ho Chi Minh City, which is set to become the airline's 124th destination.
From October 28, 2012, this service will be operated by a Boeing 777-300 ER in a two class configuration, said a release.
Operating as EK 390 the daily non-stop flight, with 27 Business Class seats and 251 Economy Class seats, will depart Dubai International Airport at 0925hrs arriving at Tan Son Nhat International Airport at 1920hrs.
The return flight EK 391 will depart at 2050hrs arriving in Dubai at 0045hrs the following day.
"Following the signing of the Air Services Memorandum of Understanding between Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates in April 2011, we have been busy planning this route and it comes at a very exciting time for the airline, as our global network continues to expand," said Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline.
Trade between the UAE and Vietnam exceeded US$24 million in 2010 and Emirates, through its cargo arm SkyCargo, has had an active presence in the market for a number of years. Vietnamese exports - which range the full value chain from high-end tablet PCs, smartphones and printers to garments, sportswear and shoes - have been shipped through other Emirates' Asian gateways including Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong on to European, American, Middle Eastern and African markets.
Ho Chi Minh City will be the Emirates' eighth route launch in 2012, following on from Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro on 3rd January; Dublin on 9th January; Lusaka and Harare on 1st February; Dallas on 2nd February and Seattle on 1st March.
With a fleet of 168 aircraft and already the largest A380 operator in the world, with 20 in service, Emirates currently flies to 117 destinations in 69 countries.