Video: Why Emirates’ Miami flight is a big deal

Miami: Emirates’ first flight to Miami, which took off from Dubai in the wee hours of Thursday, touched down to a rousing welcome in Florida’s second largest city today.

The flight, which was accorded the ceremonial water cannon salute, was received by top officials who addressed a special media event at the Miami International Airport.

Essa Sulaiman Ahmed, Divisional Vice-President, USA and Canada, Emirates, said the four-times weekly service is the airline’s second in Florida after Orlando. With the addition of Miami, Emirates now has 70 weekly flights to the US, offering over 26,000 seats across 12 destinations:

  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • New York (JFK and Newark)
  • Houston
  • Dallas
  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Washington DC and
  • Orlando.

70

number of weekly flights to the US operated by Dubai-based Emirates airline

“We expect that the service will be popular with our customers who are seeking new experiences as countries like the UAE and US advance their vaccination drives and the world safely opens up for international travel,” he said.

Essa Sulaiman Ahmed, Emirates, addressing the media after the Emirates Miami flight landed.
Image Credit: Sharmila Dhal/Gulf News

Touching upon the preparations for EXPO 2020, Ahmed said, “People are excited to be at the Expo … and we are making sure it is on top of our agenda.”

Ahead of the flight, Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates, had said around 20,000 to 30,000 monthly arrivals were expected in Dubai from the US during Expo 2020 Dubai.

Boeing 777 Gamechanger

For the first flight to Miami, Emirates flew the Boeing 777 Gamechanger and showcased the interiors of the aircraft to guests, featuring its unique First Class private suites. With floor to ceiling sliding doors and sleek design features inspired by the Mercedes-Benz S-class, Emirates’ First Class suites on the Gamechanger offer up to 40 square feet of personal space each, and ultra-modern design features.

The airline will subsequently operate its three-class Boeing 777-300ER on the route, featuring eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie flat seats in Business Class and 304 spacious seats in Economy Class for the service.

Ahmed said the new flight will link travellers from Miami, as well as Southern Florida, South America and the Caribbean to over 50 points across the Middle East, West Asia, Africa, Far East and the Indian Ocean Islands via Dubai.

Trade connections

The new service will also add to the existing trade connections provided by Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, which has been operating passenger freighter services to Miami since October 2020. Emirates has been offering cargo capacity into and out of Miami facilitating exports of perishables, electronics and other components as well as e-commerce goods. Emirates SkyCargo has also in the past operated several charter flights on its Boeing 777 full freighter aircraft to transport champion horses from Miami to equestrian events around the world. Since 2019, Emirates SkyCargo has moved more than 7,700 tonnes of cargo in and out of Miami. ean Islands via Dubai.

Miami officials excited

“We proudly welcome Emirates to MIA, and we greatly look forward to welcoming their passengers from Dubai, the Middle East, and points across the globe,” said Ralph Cutié, Miami International Airport Interim Director. “Emirates is without question one of the leading airlines in our industry, and Dubai has become one of the world’s most popular cities for leisure and business travel. As our local and connecting passengers continue returning to air travel, we are pleased to now offer them Emirates’ world-class service to Dubai.”

Emirates crew after flight EK213 landed at Miami.
Image Credit: Sharmila Dhal/Gulf News

“We are excited to welcome new Emirates flights to MIA as we expand business and leisure travelling options for Miami-Dade residents and visitors, connecting them with new cultures and growing economies,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “Opening our doors to new visitors from Dubai and adding to our growing list of worldwide destinations continues to consolidate MIA as a global travel hub.”

“Emirates’ first flight from Dubai to Miami is a true testament to Greater Miami’s positioning as a global gateway and world-class destination. As we safely reopen to international visitors, we’re excited to welcome the Emirates customer who is sure to appreciate our diverse cosmopolitan metropolis, surrounding waters and pristine beaches, and perfect year round weather,” said William D. Talbert III, CDME, President & CEO Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The first passengers

Rohan Barazi

Among the passengers who flew on Thursday’s flight were those visiting Miami for a holiday or for work. Some of them like Rohan Barazi, a Syrian resident of Miami visiting family in Dubai, were happy to get back on a direct flight now. “I would travel via New York earlier. I am so happy with this new direct flight,” she said.

British expat Craig Beech and his son.
Image Credit: Sharmila Dhal/Gulf News

British expat Craig Beech said he was looking forward to a good holiday with his wife and two children in Miami. A resident of Dubai for 20 years, he said, “My son James is18 and will go to university soon and this may be our last chance to holiday together in a while.”

Tessy Arun with one of her daughters.
Image Credit: Sharmila Dhal/Gulf News

Indian expat Tessy Arun, also on vacation with her husband snd two children, said, “I am looking forward to the family holiday.”

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