Emirates has marked 30 years of operations in the UK by announcing that it is on track to carry 5 million passengers between the UK and Dubai in the 2017/18 financial year, making it a record year for the airline.
This is an increase on the 2016/17 total for the growing airline, which saw 4.92 million passengers fly between the UK and Dubai.
On July 6, 1987, the company launched its first flight to Gatwick. Operated by the Airbus A310, the airline carried just 87,000 passengers in its first year of UK operations and had only six aircraft in its entire fleet, offering UK passengers onward connections to six other destinations.
Since then it has added services to a further five UK gateways; Manchester (1990), Heathrow (1991), Birmingham (2000), Glasgow (2004) and Newcastle (2007), offering passengers across the country the chance to fly on one of its 126 non-stop flights per week from the UK to Dubai, and connect on to a route map that now spans 140 passenger destinations across six continents.
The top five destinations for UK travellers with the company in the last 12 months are:
Dubai (direct flight from the UK)
The airline currently operates the Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger plane, on all six of its daily flights from Heathrow, all three from Gatwick and Manchester and one of its three services from Birmingham. All other flights are operated by the modern, wide-body Boeing 777.
Laurie Berryman, VP UK, Emirates, said: “The last 30 years have been an incredible journey for us at Emirates. We’ve grown our UK presence to serve more passengers with the latest, most comfortable wide-body aircraft, flying more people and more British exports to more places around the world. We are proud to have become an airline that is able to offer 18 daily flights for customers across the UK on modern, high-tech aircraft that passengers love to fly on, including 13 on the iconic A380. Customers can fly direct into Dubai – a cultural and business hub – but also connect on to hugely popular destinations like Bangkok and Australia.”
“We’re looking forward to the next 30 years, helping passengers explore more of the world, and conversely welcoming inbound tourism to the beautiful UK.”