Dubai: Emirates’ A380 route network has extended to the Netherlands today with the launch of services to Amsterdam.
Emirates is the first carrier to offer a scheduled A380 service to the Netherlands, after just two years since its first flight to Amsterdam.
The double decker will operate as EK 0147, departing Dubai to Amsterdam daily, and will become the 19th A380 destination among a host of major cities around the world.
“After progressively building up services to the Netherlands over a course of two years, Emirates is responding to strong demand by bringing its flagship aircraft to one of Europe’s most important trading and logistics hubs, adding much-needed seat capacity -more than 2,000 seats a week- which will stimulate further tourism and trade between the Netherlands, UAE and beyond. The A380 is central to the Emirates strategy. Our orders represent a sizable chunk of the total programme worldwide and Emirates has played a key role in the design and performance characteristics of the aircraft, which have become our signature markers in the industry,” said Thierry Antinori, Emirates’ Executive Vice President, Passenger Sales Worldwide.
“We are seamlessly connecting passengers to our extensive route network which includes 10 Indian cities, 21 African destinations, and key points across the Far East and Australia. Emirates is also enabling customers to continue their A380 experience via our hub in Dubai to popular destinations like Sydney, Bangkok and Hong Kong,” he added.
The Dutch capital is the 5th largest economy in the Eurozone, known for its key role as a logistics and trade centre. The UAE and the Netherlands have a buoyant trade relationship which reached AED 6.2 billion (US $1.7 billion) in 2011.
Emirates SkyCargo has been serving Amsterdam with freighters for more than 17 years and flowers picked up from Africa, bound for auction in the Netherlands, are amongst the key commodities carried. This is in addition to fruits and vegetables, silk, leather, and telecoms equipment, amongst other commodities. Over 16.5 million kgs of cargo was carried between Dubai and Amsterdam in 2011.
Joining Antinori on the inaugural A380 service from Dubai was Mr. Kees van Spronsen, Consul General of the Netherlands in the UAE, Mr Rob Broere, Vice President – IT Passenger Services Systems and Passenger Experience, Emirates, along with other VIP guests and representatives from the Dutch media. The A380 inaugural flight was led by Dutch Captain Finn Zwager and Dutch First Officer Johan Rypma, who proudly waved their native country’s flag upon arrival.
The Emirates delegation was welcomed with an arrival reception at Schiphol Airport with guests including Theo Weterings, Mayor Municipality of Haarlemmermeer and Hanne Buis, Head of Aviation Marketing, Schiphol Group.
Emirates is the largest A380 operator in the world and has now carried more than 10 million passengers and has flown more than 150 million kilometres since the double decker was introduced to its fleet in August 2008. The airline’s A380 operations are supported by more than 3,000 dedicated cabin crew and Emirates’ state-of-the-art facilities at Dubai International Airport will soon be augmented by the opening of the world’s first dedicated A380 terminal early next year.
The carrier’s 22 A380s now serve Amsterdam, Auckland, Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, London Heathrow, Manchester, Munich, New York JFK, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Toronto, Tokyo, with Melbourne set to launch on 1st October and Moscow on 1st December.
Each Emirates’ A380 offers an Onboard Lounge on the upper deck for Premium Class passengers to meet, relax and do business. First Class passengers have the added luxury of two Onboard Shower Spas.
On the Dubai-Amsterdam route, the aircraft is arranged in a three-class configuration with 427 seats in Economy Class, 76 fully flat-bed, mini-pods in Business Class and 14 First Class Private Suites. Passengers across all cabins can lose themselves in the more than 1,400 channels of ice, Emirates’ award-winning Digital Widescreen inflight entertainment system. They can also stay connected to the internet throughout their journey with high speed Wi-Fi access.
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.
EK 147 leaves Dubai at 0825hrs and arrives in Amsterdam Schiphol at 1330hrs. The return double decker service, EK148, departs Amsterdam at 1530hrs and lands in Dubai at 2359hrs.
Emirates has a fleet of 178 aircraft flying to more than 120 destinations in 74 countries and has a further 225 aircraft on order worth over US $62 billion. Over the course of the next few months, Emirates will launch a further five destinations: Erbil, Washington, D.C, Lyon, Adelaide and Warsaw.