'Hello Fort Lauderdale'
Emirates makes Fort Lauderdale its 11th US destination
Emirates launched its 154th destination in the world and its 11th destination in the United Sates with the start of a daily nonstop service between Dubai and Fort LauderdaleHollywood International Airport (FLL) on Thursday, December 15, 2016. The inaugural flight EK 213 to Florida touched down at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport at 10.50 am local time after a nonstop 16-and-a-half hours after taking off from Dubai at 3:30 am Dubai time early Thursday morning, where it was greeted by the customary water cannon salute, the airport's staff and local media.
The aircraft, a Boeing 777-200LR, was full, which was expected, according to Hubert Frach, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, West, when asked why Emirates chose Fort Lauderdale to be its 11th destination, especially as it is the second getaway to Florida after Orlando, that was launched last year, he said, "We believe that Fort Lauderdale is certainly a very interesting and large market. It is big in terms of commerce and tourism in the area of Fort Lauderdale, Miami and West Palm Beach. In addition to the six million people living in this area, the ports of Port Miami and Port Fort Lauderdale are the number one and number three cruise ports in the US, so you have a lot of interesting market segments in and around Fort Lauderdale," said Frach.
He later addressed journalists from Florida, reporters from Kuwait, UAE and Britain, VIPs and members of the aviation authorities in Fort Lauderdale. "At Emirates, we're proud to be global connectors of people, places and economies. Today's flight carried passengers from North America, the Far East, the Middle East, South Asia, the Asian subcontinent and Africa - a powerful demonstration of this point. In fact, it is the first scheduled commercial service from the Middle East in the airport's history. We expect this new route to significantly enhance South Florida's commercial and cultural connections with this important region of the world, and throughout our global network," he said.
Passengers wishing to travel beyond the Fort LauderdaleMiami area to onward destinations can take advantage of Emirates' partnership with JetBlue Airways (B6) that offers connection options to 32 destinations in the US and connection to destinations in Bahamas, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, and Peru.
Passengers from the Middle East, Africa, South Asian subcontinent, and the Far East can enjoy quick and convenient connections in Dubai before they travel onwards to Fort Lauderdale. In particular, passengers from destinations such as Beirut, Doha, Riyadh, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Bangkok, Cebu, Singapore, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, as well as Colombo and Karachi will experience connection times of less than four hours in Dubai.
Mark Gale, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport's Director of Aviation, was elated. "The arrival of Emirates to our airline portfolio at FLL means Christmas has arrived 10 days early." He highlighted the local economic impact of Emirates' flight to Broward County, expected to be $105 million annually, supporting 1,000 local jobs in the tourism field. Also present at the event was Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief, who said FLL is one of the fastest growing airports in the US, servicing more than 29 million passengers this year.
Fort Lauderdale is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, thanks to its abundant sunshine and temperate weather. Its immaculate beaches and championship golf courses attract leisure travellers. Fort Lauderdale is also a popular destination for the cruise industry with Broward County's Port Everglades one of the top three busiest cruise ports in the world, with more than four million annual visitors.
As for Emirates' future plans and what its 12th US destination will be, Frach said: "We have been in the US since 2004, when we launched our first flight to JFK. We are interested, but there are no immediate plans for the immediate future."
At the end of the event, Emirates offered a silver nao diorama to the Broward County Airport authority, while the County declared the 15th as the Emirates Airline appreciation day.
Photo shows (from third left) Hubert Frach, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, West, Mayor Barbara Sharief and Mark Gale CEO and Director of Aviation in Florida, are pictured cutting the cake during event.
Kuwait Times’ Entertainment Editor Sahar Moussa and Hatem Omar, Emirates’ Public Relation Manager
(From third left) Hubert Frach, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, West, Mayor Barbara Sharief and Mark Gale, CEO and Director of Aviation in Florida during the event. — Photos by Sahar Moussa
Kuwait Times’ Entertainment Editor Sahar Moussa (third right), Journalist Jocelyne Elia with Emirates’ hostesses.
Photo shows Hubert Frach, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, West and Mayor Barbara Sharief during the event.