Emirates boasts young fleet, full range of destinations

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NEW YORK -- Emirates, the airline of the United Arab Emirates, is heading for the next millennium with six of the longest-range aircraft in the world on order.

The carrier has one of the industry's youngest fleets and an international network of 47 destinations.

Among those destinations, the carrier serves Europe from its Dubai hub with nonstop service to London three times daily; Frankfurt, Germany, once daily, and coming in July, nonstop daily flights to Paris.

"Our new aircraft orders will provide us with even greater flexibility to take advantage of new commercial opportunities," said Nigel Page, Emirates' senior general manager of commercial operations for Europe and the U.S.

For instance, he added, on July 1 Emirates will add a third nonstop flight with its new Airbus 330s from London, permitting passengers a direct connection at Heathrow Airport to Dubai from the day flight services of United and American.

"The same smooth connection will apply to American's passengers flying the daylight flight from Boston to London," Page added, "and passengers will now not have to overnight in London.

When asked when Emirates would be opening nonstop flights from Dubai to the U.S., Page answered, "We're studying it for profitability, although we will certainly have the ability to serve even the U.S. West Coast and Australia when the six A340-500 join the Emirates fleet starting in 2002."

In addition to this long- range aircraft, Emirates has ordered 17 A330-200 airplanes, which it will begin receiving the first quarter of this year.

Two Boeing 777-300 will also join the fleet in late 1999.

Presently Emirates carries passengers from Europe to Dubai and beyond the Middle East with a substantial number of routes to the Indian subcontinent and the Far East.

"We aim to offer the best services on every route we operate," said Page, "and happily passengers rave about our inflight amenities."

Each seat in all three classes has a personal video; first class seats are fully reclining sleeper seats, and business class has sleeperettes; even in coach, the contour seats have a 32-inch pitch and footrests.

In first class, six-course meals are served on Royal Doulton china, and business and coach class passengers enjoy five-course meals.

Alcoholic beverages are complimentary in all three classes.

The carrier's Boeing 777s have 17 audio-video and 22 audio channels and offer a Flying Camera channel so that passengers can see the world outside via two cameras fitted to the undercarriage, one providing a forward and one a downward view.

Particularly with its commercial passengers in mind, all Airbuses and Boeing 777s in its 24-aircraft fleet have telephone handsets at each seat and wall-mounted phones are also available in each cabin.

Furthermore, all aircraft have a centralized fax machine operated by the cabin crew, and in the future, the airline intends to install a fax modem in all seats so that passengers who have laptop computers with fax facility can send faxes direct from their seats.

Emirates' efforts to deliver award-winning services seem to have paid off, for the carrier has won more than 150 international citations for excellence since its founding 13 years ago.

The latest recognition is the overall Global Airline of the Year 1999 title, awarded by the Official Airline Guide (OAG); the carrier also received this award in 1998 and in 1994.

The OAG award was based on nominations by 19,000 frequent flyers worldwide who subscribe to OAG Worldwide's print and electronic travel information services.

OAG is a sister publication of Travel Weekly.

Although the commercial traveler is Emirates' primary target passenger, the carrier also maintains a leisure department that includes Arabian Adventures, which has been instrumental in the tourism product development of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Arabian Adventures operates a full range of tours, desert safaris and overland excursions to neighboring members of the United Arab Emirates as well as incentive and meeting programs.

When its new ecotourism project, the Al Maha Resort, opens on March 15, Emirates will also be in the hotel business.

Developed, owned and managed by Emirates, the $12.5 million resort has 29 deluxe suites and is located on 3,330-acre desert nature reserve. The resort's inclusive rate of $900 per room, per night includes accommodations; all meals and beverages; activities such as desert expeditions and horseback riding, and transfers between the airport and the lodge. Emirates. Phone: (800) 777-3999

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