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Emirates brings Australia closer to the Middle East

Emirates<.> brought Australia`s largest state closer to the Middle East, Africa and…

Emirates<.> brought Australia`s largest state closer to the Middle East, Africa and Europe, when its inaugural flight to Perth lift off from Dubai International Airport at 02:35 last Friday August 2.

The service is the first-ever non-stop flight between the Gulf and Australia and heralds a new era of trade and tourism links brought about by the new flights. The flights bring the total number of points on the Emirates network to 59 in 41 countries.

On board the inaugural flight was Ghaith Al Ghaith, Emirates` Commercial Operations Director, senior airline managers and UAE media. The flight was welcomed on arrival by Western Australia Premier Dr Geoff Gallop, Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Alannah McTiernan, airport officials and Emirates personnel including the Area Manager Australia and New Zealand Edward Lim.

Mr Al Ghaith said: Western Australia is the largest state accounting for one third of the whole country. It is rich in mineral resources, agricultural produce and offers superb leisure opportunities. We are confident that these flights mark a new chapter in trade and tourism relations between the Middle East and Australia.

Fresh produce flown from Western Australia one day can be in Dubai shops the next; friends and relatives from Europe have fast, one-stop flights to their families, tourists can enjoy Australia`s sunniest city and have 2.5 million square kilometres of stunning scenery to explore.

Emirates Holidays, the Gulf`s top tour operator, has created a wide range of new vacations to showcase this new shortcut to the Sunshine City on Australia`s west coast, offering breaks at the five-star Burswood Resort Casino/Spa and Hyatt Regency hotels, as well as the four-star Novotel Langley and Grand Chancellor Hotels.

All feature Emirates flights, transfers — some by private car — 24-hour phone helplines and airport meet and assist on request. All earn valuable Skywards Miles. Tailor-made breaks are an Emirates Holidays speciality, allowing travel agents to offer interesting combinations.

Proving the demand for the new service, the first flights are fully-booked. Connecting passengers on the inaugural flight include those from the UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, Kenya and the Lebanon plus Gulf countries such as Qatar and Kuwait.

Captain Charles Hermon, Purser Vanessa Firth and eight members of the 15-strong cabin crew on the inaugural flight will be Western Australians. Other cabin crew members are from Middle East and Pacific Rim countries. We`re all thrilled and we`re proud to take the first flight into our home city, said Captain Hermon.

Emirates will operate a Boeing 777-200 aircraft on the route with a three-class configuration of 18 First, 49 Business and 236 Economy seats. The aircraft has capacity for 12 tonnes of cargo.

The service will operate every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, departing Dubai at 02:35 and arriving Perth at 17:25. The return flight departs Perth at 22:30 and arrives Dubai at 0540 the following morning. Flying time is around 11 hours.