DUBAI, U.A.E., 1st July 2012: Emirates, one of the world’s fastest-growing international airlines, today ensured its 10th year of operating in Japan will be one to remember as its flagship Airbus A380 touched down in Tokyo, marking the introduction of the aircraft to its daily non-stop service to Dubai. EK318 was welcomed by a water canon salute to celebrate Tokyo Narita International becoming the 19th airport on Emirates’ global network of 123 destinations to be served by the most comfortable and environmentally advanced commercial aircraft in the skies.
The Emirates A380 service will provide a 38% increase in capacity, equivalent to an additional 135 seats on every flight to Dubai, while all passengers will be able to enjoy Japanese cuisine, movies, music, newspapers and magazines, as well as on-board Wi-Fi. For those travelling in both premium cabins, the spacious on-board lounge is a highlight, while passengers in First Class have the added luxury of being able to freshen up in the shower spa. And, with at least six Japanese cabin crew on every flight, every passenger is guaranteed a warm welcome.
“Many Japanese travellers already know what a great aircraft the Airbus A380 is, but the Emirates A380 is a different proposition,” said Richard Jewsbury, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Far East & Australasia. “We have redefined air travel with amazing features such as an on-board lounge and shower spa and, as the only A380 operator in the market to offer passengers these services, the Emirates A380 truly is an unrivalled flying experience. Combine this with ice, our award-winning inflight entertainment system which includes 40 Japanese channels, world-class service and gourmet cuisine, all tailored to Japanese passengers, as well as a network spanning six continents, and you have a product which I am sure will be extremely popular,” added Mr Jewsbury.
With a three-class configuration of 399 seats in Economy Class, 76 fully flat-bed, mini-pods in Business Class and 14 First Class private suites, the growing demand for the premium cabins on the route can be met and almost 3500 Japanese passengers a week will have the opportunity to fly on the A380 and connect - via one seamless stop - to 31 destinations in Europe, 22 in Africa, 16 in the Middle East and 11 in North and South America.
Emirates - with 21 A380s in its 175-strong fleet, as well as an additional 69 on order - is the largest A380 operator in the world, enabling passengers from Tokyo to continue on the aircraft to London, Sydney, Auckland, Bangkok, Toronto, Paris, Seoul, Jeddah, Beijing, Manchester, Hong Kong, New York, Shanghai, Munich, Rome and Johannesburg, as well as Amsterdam from August and Melbourne from October.
“It is with great pride that we are strengthening our commitment to Japan in the same year as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of operations,” continued Mr Jewsbury. “Although travel and trade was severely impacted by the Great East Japan Earthquake, Emirates believed in Japan’s ability to recover quickly and while other operators scaled back services, we kept faith in our growth strategy and increased the frequency of our Narita-Dubai flights. Now, with the addition of our A380, Japan can look forward to trade and tourism being further stimulated between destinations across our network.
“The aviation authorities of Japan and the UAE recently met and agreed on a liberal framework that will permit Emirates to progressively add services to Japan. We are very grateful that the Japanese Government has recognised our commitment. We also value the longstanding partnership that we have with Japan Airlines. We have a code share agreement with JAL on both our Osaka and Tokyo services and look forward to building on this.”
Narita International Airport is also looking forward to building closer links with the Middle East. “As a representative of Narita International Airport, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Emirates Airline for choosing the Narita route among the numerous destinations within its international network to introduce the Airbus A380, the latest and largest aircraft in the world,” said Mr Makoto Natsume, President & CEO of Narita International Airport Corporation. “I’m expecting that the Emirates A380 on the Narita-Dubai route will be the bridge between the Middle East and Japan and further promote interactions between the regions. We intend to strive to make our airport greater to welcome more customers.”
Joining Mr Jewsbury in the VIP delegation on the inaugural A380 flight were: HE Saeed Ali Al-Nowais, UAE Ambassador to Japan; Isao Kishi - Deputy Consul-General, Consulate-General of Japan; Yasuyoshi Matshunaga - Managing Director, Toshiba; Mutsumi Kitai - President, Hitachi Construction and Machinery; and Eyad Ali - Executive Director - Media Relations Business Development Sector, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
Passengers travelling with Emirates on the A380 and all its other aircraft benefit from a generous baggage allowance of 30kg in Economy, 40kg in Business and 50 kg in First.
Emirates now flies to 123 destinations in 73 countries and over the next three months will launch a further four destinations: Barcelona, Lisbon, Erbil and Washington, DC. All passengers benefit from smooth connections at Terminal 3, Emirates’ state-of-the-art facility at Dubai International Airport, which will soon be bolstered by the opening of the world’s first terminal dedicated to A380 operations.
EK 319 departs Narita at 22:00 hrs and arrives in Dubai at 04:15 hrs the following day. The return flight - EK 318 - departs Dubai at 02:50 hrs and arrives at 17:35 hrs. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, EK319 departs Narita at 21:20 hrs and arrives in Dubai at 03:10 hrs the following day.