RIO DE JANEIRO, November 2011 - Emirates kicked off its Rio de Janeiro countdown in style on the 24th November, as the airline got ready to launch daily services to the 2014 FIFA World Cup host city from 3rd January 2012.
The new direct service to Rio de Janeiro, with an onward extension to Buenos Aires, will provide seamless connections to Emirates' network of more than 100 destinations worldwide.
Last night, over 800 guests from the government, travel industry and wider business community attended a gala celebration at Pier Maua to find out more about one of the world's most successful and fastest-growing airlines. Guests were also given the opportunity to see the FIFA World Cup Trophy, which was on display at the event.
"As Emirates' second Brazilian gateway, our new Rio de Janeiro service will add extra impetus to the vibrant Brazilian economy, boosting tourism and underpinning the city's status as a leading hub for business and trade, particularly within the oil and gas industries," said Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President -Passenger Sales Worldwide.
"Emirates anticipates strong demand for both leisure and business travel to Rio de Janeiro, especially as Brazil will host a series of world-class events over the next few years, including the 2013 Confederations Cup, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, added Mr Antinori. "As a Partner of the 2014 World Cup, Emirates is proud that we have a role to play in making the tournament a success, and we look forward to bringing football fans from across our global network to this unmissable event."
"This new Emirates flight is a big win for Rio de Janeiro as it will feed global traffic into the city, boosting tourism and creating new opportunities for trade between this market and numerous emerging economies," said Mr. Rodrigo Solano, Manager of Markets and Business, Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.
Earlier in the day, the Brazilian media met with Emirates representatives including Richard Vaughan, Divisional Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations Worldwide, Nigel Page, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, The Americas, and Ralf Aasmann, Area Manager Brazil. Also representing Emirates in Rio de Janeiro were Kashmira Motiwalla, Manager Product Development, Skywards, Luc Delcomminette, Vice President of Arabian Adventures, Pradeep Kumar, Senior Vice President, Cargo Revenue Optimisation and Robert Siegel, Manager Cargo Commercial - Europe & Americas.
Rio de Janeiro, also known as the 'Marvellous City,' is renowned for its spectacular natural setting. The city, which is home to Sugar Loaf Mountain, Copacabana and Ipanema beaches as well as the famous Maracana Football Stadium, receives more visitors than any other city in South America, welcoming an estimated 2.8 million international tourists each year.
Emirates' Rio de Janeiro flight will be a linked service with Buenos Aires, meaning that customers in South America can now travel between the two cities in unprecedented style and comfort. The new service will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, arranged in a three-class configuration, offering eight First Class Private Suites, 42 lie-flat beds in Business Class, and a spacious cabin in Economy Class with 304 seats.
Throughout all classes, passengers can enjoy the latest version of Emirates' multi award-winning ice entertainment system, which offers over 1,200 channels of movies, TV shows and music, including Portuguese language versions and Brazilian and Latin American music.
Starting 3rd January 2012, EK 247 will leave Dubai daily at 0705hrs and arrive at Rio's Antônio Carlos Jobim International Airport at 1537hrs. It will depart Rio at 1723hrs, arriving at Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport (Ezeiza) at 1930hrs. From Buenos Aires, EK 248 departs at 2130hrs, arriving in Rio at 0120hrs the next day. The aircraft will depart Rio at 0310hours, arriving in Dubai at 2250hrs.
One of the world's fastest-growing airlines, Emirates has a fleet of 162 aircraft and is now the world's largest Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 operator.
With an order for 50 new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft placed at the Dubai Airshow earlier this month, Emirates now has 243 aircraft on order, worth over US$84 billion at list prices.
Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires will be the second and third points to be added to Emirates' South American network. Emirates has been flying to Brazil since 2007, when it launched its Sao Paulo route. The airline now operates daily services to the city.
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