Astronaut Buzz Aldrin takes Emirates’ first flight to America

Buzz Aldrin tries out the ICE system onboard Emirates' A340-500.

THE world’s second man to set foot on the moon, in the first-ever such space mission, took off on Emirates’ nonstop first flight to New York.

Astronaut Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and mission commander Neil Armstrong walked into the history books when they climbed down the ladder of their Apollo XI lunar lander on July 20, 1969. On June 1, 2004, Colonel Aldrin travelled on the Airbus A340-500 inaugural flight from Dubai to New York, along with an Emirates delegation headed by Maurice Flanagan, vice-chairman and Group president.
And this time, in place of a cramped Apollo spacecraft seat, Col. Aldrin flew in luxury in Emirates’ A345 First Class Suite and unrivalled standards of in-flight comfort. After sampling the facilities in the First Class Suite he exclaimed: “I haven’t seen anything like it!”
First Class customers on this ultra long-range jet relax in $175,000 suites with flat beds and privacy doors, and can phone cabin crew in the galley to ask for meals to be served at their seat whenever they wish. Every passenger in every cabin enjoys unprecedented service and attention; an innovative cabin lighting system helps reduce jetlag; and customers in all classes can relax with more than 500 channels of video and audio entertainment.
The new link offers excellent connections via Dubai for customers travelling from North America to the Gulf, Africa, Indian Subcontinent and Asia. Further routes between Dubai and the US, Canada and South America will follow soon.
Emirates’ A340-500s depart Dubai every day at 8am, reaching JFK’s ultra-modern Terminal 4 at 2pm that same day. Return flights leave JFK at 11.30pm and land back in Dubai at 8.20pm next evening.
The airline is promoting a number of attractive offers to promote the new service. First Class customers may stay three nights free, and Business Class two nights free, at any of seven US Ritz-Carlton hotels. Alternatively, First and Business customers on the route may opt for seven or four nights’ free car hire, with unlimited mileage, vehicle registration and insurance all included. Both sets of offers are available until August 31.