Emirates will launch its first service to Canada starting on October 29. The long-awaited route will be operated non-stop three times a week between Dubai and Toronto using a three class B777-300ER.
Seating on board will feature the carrier's latest premium products, namely eight suites in first class and 42 lie-flat style seats in business class. Economy class will comprise 304 seats.
Says HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Emirates' chairman and CEO, "Responding to market demand, the new route will provide a first direct link between Canada's largest city and Dubai. It will also provide convenient access to the Middle East region, Africa and the South Asian subcontinent."
Flight EK241 will depart Dubai every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 0835 arriving in Toronto 14 hours and 20 mins later at 1455. Return flight EK242 will leave Toronto at 2140 to reach Dubai the following day at 1855 after a 13 hour flight.
Toronto is an ethnically diverse city and Emirates' new service has been eagerly awaited. Currently there are also three non-stop flights a week from the UAE to Toronto with Etihad out of Abu Dhabi. Seat capacity on this service is being stepped up from July as Etihad will switch from an Airbus A340-500 to the larger A340-600.Air Canada has not confirmed whether or not it has any intention of competing with Eitihad and Emirates.
In other news Emirates has announced it will launch the world's first water limousine airport transfer service. As some readers will by now have guessed, the water limousine will feature with the introduction of Emirates Dubai-Venice service which gets under way on July 1.
First and business class passengers will be transported aboard partially enclosed Riva-style boats from a dedicated pontoon next to Venice airport.
The short ride from the mainland (where the airport is located) avoids the sometimes heavily congested journey by road. It also means passengers get a direct ride to their hotel because when arriving in Venice by rail or road across the Causeway a further transfer is needed to water-borne transport.
Says Ghaith Al Ghath, Emirates' Executive VP, commercial operations worldwide, "We have been excited about the water limousine service since first discussing the possibility some time ago and now the arrangements are in place for a superb treat."
Emirates says the water limousine service will initially be offered on a trial basis and reviewed after three months. Maybe the airline feels the service won't appeal so much in the foggy winter months.
Venice will be Emirates' third Italian gateway. The five times a week service will link to Venice and prove convenient for nearby Verona, Trieste, Bologna and nearby Slovenia.
For more information go to emirates.com.
Report by Alex McWhirter