EMIRATES Airline has taken delivery of its 90th aircraft, a Boeing 777-300ER, making it one of the world’s fastest growing international airlines.
It is scheduled to notch up 100 craft by the end of this year.
Fitted to Emirates’ specifications, the brand-new wide-body twin-aisle aircraft will add to the airline’s 11 existing Boeing 777-300ERs and will be used on several Emirates routes such as Sydney, Bangkok, Johannesburg, London Heathrow, Düsseldorf and Istanbul.
Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline and Group says, “Emirates has experienced an unstoppable expansion in the past 20 years spurring an ambitious fleet acquisition programme. The fleet started with just two leased aircraft in 1985 and has since doubled in size every five years on average. The quantum leap for us came in 2000 when Emirates’ almost tripled its fleet size from 31 in 2000 to 87 in 2005.”
Emirates also has over 100 aircraft, including 45 Airbus A380 and 60 Boeing 777 worth over $33 billion, pending delivery.
The airline will launch several new services this year, including Beijing and Bangalore. The daily non-stop flights between Beijing and Dubai are a bid to attract more Chinese travellers, Edwin Lau, the airline’s regional manager for Greater China and North East Asia, told media at a news conference.
The first Bangalore flight will take off October 29. Eight services will ply weekly between Dubai and the major South Indian metropolis.
Says Sheikh Ahmed, “I thank the Indian Government and Ministry of Civil Aviation for opening up the Indian skies and giving international airlines an opportunity to commence services to new destinations. By the end of this year, Emirates will have strengthened its presence in the country to eight cities served by 71 flights.”
Emirates is also introducing a second daily non-stop service from Dubai to Zurich, increasing both seat and cargo capacity on the route, from October 29.
Finally, the airline has postponed indefinitely the start of a regular flight to the Danish capital’s Copenhagen airports, Emirates’ Nordic sales agent has said. The Dubai-Copenhagen route was to start in October, according to Aviation Marketing Scandinavia’s Goeran Hansson, who told media it was postponed for commercial reasons. The route will now start up later, possibly after a review of the decision in mid-2006, he added.
A shot in the arm
Meanwhile, Emirates has significantly boosted onboard healthcare facilities on long-haul flights between Dubai and New York, Osaka, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Christchurch. Cabin crew can now obtain clinically-accurate vital signs data from a passenger who has taken ill in flight, with the introduction of the new passenger health monitoring system, Tempus, from UK-based Remote Diagnostic Technologies.
Tempus records a passenger’s blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature, electrocardiogram (ECG), blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. The data is then sent via the inflight communications system to emergency medical specialists at the Medlink Response Centre in Phoenix, USA, who can diagnose the problem and advise the crew on the best course of action.
Emirates is among three airlines worldwide that have purchased the technology.
If passengers do fall ill, however, it won’t be because of the food: as of March 1, passengers in First and Business Class will be able to enjoy meals on board created exclusively for Emirates by elite chefs from Jumeirah hotels. Passengers on routes to selected destinations in Europe, East Asia, USA and Australasia will find a starter, main and dessert course created by a world class chef on their menus.
Emirates and Jumeirah have joined forces to bring Emirates’ First and Business Class passengers a range of superb meals on board. The Guest Chefs programme runs for 12 months, involving chefs from nine different Jumeirah hotels, including the Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Carlton Tower London and Jumeirah Essex House New York. Each month, a different chef will create the menu for Emirates’ premier passengers.
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