'Hello Fort Laud­erdale'

Emi­rates makes Fort Laud­erdale its 11th US des­ti­na­tion

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE - By Sa­har Moussa

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.

Emi­rates 777-200LR

Emi­rates 777-200LR

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.

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