In true international style, passengers were booked onto today's inaugural flight out of Dubai from places such as Australia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, India, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Iran and Mauritius.
After a display by a traditional Swiss dance couple in Emirates' exclusive Terminal 3, EK 089 left Dubai, near on full. Swiss First Officer, Alexander Trueb, was on the flight deck with UAE National Captain, Hassan Al-Hammadi.
The VIP delegation aboard included Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline; Ram Menen, Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo and Salem Obaidalla, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Europe & Russian Federation. On the ground in Geneva, Richard Vaughan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Worldwide welcomed the group as they arrived.
Their special guests were His Excellency, Wolfgang Amadeus Bruelhart, Swiss Ambassador to the UAE; Brigadier Obaid Mehayer Bin Suroor, Deputy Director of Dubai Naturalisation & Residency Department and Mr. Omar bin Ghalib, Deputy Director General of the GCAA (UAE General Civil Aviation Authority). An international media group from the UAE, India, Thailand, Indonesia and Germany also joined the trip.
"This launch, in particular, has a strong international feel about it - linking Dubai, as a global aviation hub and centre for business and tourism with Geneva, a home to so many international organisations and an important financial and banking centre," said Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline. "On the back of our robust financial results, the airline continues to drive forward - connecting key cities around the world," Mr Clark added.
“We are very pleased to welcome Emirates in Geneva. The airline is a worldwide reference in terms of reputation and quality of service”, acknowledged Francois Longchamp, State Councillor of the Canton of Geneva and President of the Board of Geneva Airport.
Tonight, around 400 guests will gather at Geneva's Espace Hippomene for a high profile gala dinner to celebrate the launch.
The Dubai-Geneva service will be operated by a combination of Boeing 777-200LR and Boeing 777-300ERs. The aircraft will be arranged in a three-class configuration, offering First Class Private Suites, lie-flat seats in Business Class, and a spacious cabin in Economy Class.
Passengers in all classes are able to sit back and enjoy the popular ice entertainment system, along with gourmet-chef prepared meals, served by multi-national cabin crew. This is Emirates' second gateway into Switzerland after Zurich, which started in 1992, and is now double daily.
Each 777 operating the Geneva route will be able to carry 15-20 tonnes of cargo. Much of the capacity out of Geneva is expected to be used by the luxury sector, one of the top employers in the Geneva region and responsible for 60% of its exports. The cargo manifest for first Geneva-Dubai flight includes fashion items, perfumes, pharmaceuticals, electronics and relief goods.
EK 089 will leave Dubai each day at 0855hrs and arrive in Geneva at 1345hrs. From Geneva, EK 090 departs at 1515hrs, arriving in Dubai at 2330hrs.
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