This week marked the launch of Emirates’ new service linking Dubai and Edinburgh. To celebrate the occasion, a traditional Scottish bagpiper and ceremonial water cannon salute welcomed the maiden flight EK023, A6-EGC (c/n 35596) as she touched down in the Scottish capital just before 3pm.
The new service is operated by Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in a three-class configuration with eight private suites in first class, 42 lie-flat seats in business class and 304 seats in economy.
The route will be served with daily rotations until the end of October, when it will reduce to a five-times-weekly operation. Frequencies will revert to daily over the busy festive period and once again ahead of the 2019 summer season, with airline representatives citing the planned runway closure at Dubai International and other logistical bottlenecks for the unusual scheduling.
The new link represents Emirates’ second destination in Scotland – complementing an existing twice-daily operation from Glasgow – and its eighth in the United Kingdom.
Speaking in Edinburgh, Hubert Frach, Emirates divisional senior vice president, commercial operations west, said the route “marks the start of greater connectivity and more convenience for leisure and business travellers from the wider Edinburgh area and locations further afield, such as Aberdeen and Dundee, to destinations across Emirates’ global network via Dubai”. He added that “in addition to tourism, the new flight will also directly connect Edinburgh to new opportunities for business, trade and education”.
It was also a particularly proud day for Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar, who revealed that securing Emirates was almost a decade in the making. “This is a great day for Scotland and Edinburgh. We know the power of connectivity – the more we can connect with cities and countries across the globe, the more opportunity for passengers. It makes our country stronger and culturally richer”.
Emirates’ inaugural came just a day after the final departure of Abu Dhabi-based rival Etihad, who scrapped their Edinburgh operations after three years as part of a wider cost-reduction programme.
Airliner World was in Edinburgh for the celebrations and our December issue will include an interview with Emirates’ Divisional Vice President, UK, Richard Jewsbury.