Emirates’ first commercial flight to South Australia departed from Dubai on Thursday morning bound for Adelaide, significantly boosting the city’s international flight capacity and connecting the region to Emirates’ global network of more than 120 destinations.
Emirates ’ service between Adelaide and Dubai marks South Australia’s first non-stop flight link with the Middle East, opening new trade opportunities between the two regions. South Australian travellers will also benefit from better connections and faster travel times to more global destinations, including Emirates’ 33 destinations in Europe.
Initially Emirates flight EK440 will operate four times weekly, serviced by Emirates’ state-of-the-art Boeing 777-300ER  aircraft, increasing to daily services from 1st February 2013.
The delegation on board the inaugural flight to Adelaide  included Salem Obaidalla, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Far East & Australasia; Hiran Perera, Senior Vice President, Cargo Planning and Freighters; His Excellency Pablo Kang, Australian Ambassador to the UAE; Eyad Abdulrehman, Executive Director, Government of Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, other government officials, prominent members of the business community and representatives from the media.
“We are investing in South Australia for the long haul, dedicating a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to the route fitted with our highest on-board product offering and employing more than 150 South Australians in airline and airport service,” said Mr Obaidalla.
“We have long held ambitions to operate flights to Adelaide, and today heralds a new level of connectivity from South Australia to Dubai, and the world with Emirates international network of more than 120 destinations,” he said.
“When the service becomes daily from 1st February, it will mean nearly 5,000 additional international seats per week on the route, representing a 30 per cent increase for the market, boosting jobs and investment in South Australia’s AUS$ 5.3 billion tourism sector and adding 14 tonnes of commercial cargo space on each flight,” added Mr Obaidalla.
“South Australia is fast becoming recognised as one of Australia’s pre-eminent tourism, business and resource-rich regions, and the start of services to Adelaide signifies the enhancement of key tourism and trade links between South Australia and the UAE, and beyond to our global network.”
“The new service will carry more than 200,000 passengers each year between South Australia and Dubai, with the UK and Europe expected to be strongest markets for both inbound and outbound travel. It will also open up Adelaide’s first direct flight links with the Middle East,” Mr Obaidalla concluded.
Emirates SkyCargo will move a mixture of commodities from its new port to Dubai and onwards, including such perishable goods such as meat, fruit, vegetables, dairy and eggs. Other key industry areas in South Australia that will benefit from the comprehensive Emirates route network include building supplies, machine parts, cosmetics and oils and resins.
Emirates flight EK440 departs Dubai every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday at 0200hrs, arriving in Adelaide at 2050hrs. The return journey leaves Adelaide at 2235hrs and arrives in Dubai at 0515hrs the next day.