Published on Monday, August 4, 2008

Emirates makes airline history

Emirates made history when an Airbus A380 landed at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Friday following a flight from Dubai.

This was the first commercial A380 ‘superjumbo’ jet to touch down on US soil, with the 13.5-hour flight taking off at 11:00 a.m. Dubai time with 489 passengers and 24 cabin crew on board.

Pictured: Emirates Airline's Airbus double-decker A380, the first-ever A380 commercial service to the United States, lands at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport on August 1.  Coinciding with JFK's 60th Anniversary, the event turned a page in aviation history.

Emirates will operate the world’s largest passenger aircraft three times a week on the New York-Dubai route from August 8.

The aircraft will be deployed on the London Heathrow route from December 1 and on Sydney and Auckland services from February. 

Airline president Tim Clark indicated that other US cities are being evaluated for Emirates growing route network such as Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth and Washington. New points will augment the airlines' existing US gateways of New York, Houston and soon Los Angeles (October 26) and San Francisco (December 15). 

"We are very pleased to celebrate Emirates' inaugural flight from Dubai to New York- the first commercial service to touch down in the United States," said  Clark. 

"Flying the first commercial service of the Emirates A380 to the United States was thrilling," said Emirates pilot, Captain Abbas Shaban.  "Although bigger than any other civil aircraft, the A380 is smoother and quieter than any other commercial aircraft I have flown."

Pictured below: [centre] Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline; [third and fourth from left] Keith Longstaff, Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Worldwide and Terry Daly, Divisional Senior Vice President, Service Delivery; and [third from right] Andrew Parker, Senior Vice President, Public and Environmental Affairs.

They were seen off at the airport by the Emirates Airport Services [EAS] team of [fourth from right] Mohammed Mattar, Senior Vice President EAS Dubai; [second from right] Anoma Manuel, Vice President - Passenger Services; and [second from left] Sami Aqil Abdullah, Vice President Terminal. Also seen are Emirates cabin crew members [right] Clair Maguire and Hakima Izoujarhane.

Captain Shaban was among several other flight deck crew operating the service. 

He and Captain Patrick De Roeck attended the reception ceremony on arrival.   

The aircraft will be on show at San Francisco International Airport todday (Monday) before moving on to the Flight Path Museum in Los Angeles.

Emirates’ A380 – with 14 First Class, 76 Business Class and 399 Economy seats – represents the latest example of innovation and technology.

Airports globally are preparing to accommodate the entry of the Airbus A380 by investing billions of dollars in facilities enlargement, according to a recent report by consulting company Frost & Sullivan.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates JFK Airport, invested $179 million last year to upgrade the airport’s taxiways and bridges to handle the new aircraft. Emirates also constructed a new jetway for its First and Business Class passengers to board the A380 directly from the Emirates Lounge at JFK.

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