Emirates gave the birthplace of the tango a dazzling turn of its own last week, as the airline prepared to launch flights to Buenos Aires from 3rd January 2012.
The President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, was among more than 800 guests from local industries, the travel trade and the government, who gathered for a gala dinner event at Centro Costa Salguero to discover more about one of the world’s most successful airlines.
Guests also had the opportunity to experience elements of Emirates’ flagship A380 aircraft, with a replica First Class Private Suite on display.
“Emirates’ first destination in Argentina is a significant next step as the airline looks to broaden its reach across the Americas. In joining Emirates’ network of more than 100 cities worldwide, Buenos Aires will enjoy a new bridge to the world; one that spans from key trading partners in the Far East to important markets in the Gulf,” said Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President –Passenger Sales Worldwide.
“As well as attracting new trade and investment into Argentina, Emirates will play an important part in supporting the country’s US$4.9 billion tourism industry, introducing new audiences to Buenos Aires and drawing in visitors from far-flung points across the globe,” continued Mr Antinori.
Earlier in the day, Emirates officially opened its brand new Buenos Aires office, located in the heart of the city centre at SuiPacha 1111, Piso 25, Capital Federal (1008).
Following the office opening, the Argentine media met with Emirates representatives including Richard Vaughan, Divisional Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations Worldwide, Nigel Page, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, The Americas and Fernando Joselevich, Area Manager Argentina. Also representing Emirates in Buenos Aires were Pradeep Kumar, Senior Vice President Cargo Revenue Optimisation, Luc Delcomminette, Vice President of Arabian Adventures, Robert Siegel, Manager Cargo Commercial – Europe & Americas, and Kashmira Motiwalla, Manager Product Development, Skywards.
“Emirates’ new service to Buenos Aires will accelerate the trade ties which have grown between the United Arab Emirates and Argentina in recent years,” said Walid Al Kaddour, Director of the Arab Argentine Chamber of Commerce. “Despite the challenges of the global economic downturn, the value of goods Argentina exports to the UAE has risen by over 40 per cent since 2006, totalling over US$270 million in 2010. With a direct air link between the two countries, we fully expect this growth pattern to continue,” he added.
Emirates will offer customers in Argentina the most efficient and comfortable route to the Middle and Far East, including the airline’s four gateways in China, now a key trading partner for Argentina accounting for over nine per cent of all exports.
The flight will also help to promote growing interest among Asian capital investors in Argentine industries such as mining, oil and gas production and textiles.
Emirates’ Buenos Aires flight will be a linked service with Rio de Janeiro, meaning that customers in South America can now travel between the two cities in unprecedented style and comfort.
“Argentina attracts more Brazilian visitors each year than any other country in the world,” said Richard Vaughan. “Now customers from Rio and beyond have another reason to visit Buenos Aires – a superior level of comfort in the air that will enable them to start enjoying their business or leisure trip from the moment they get on board.”
The Dubai-Rio de Janeiro-Buenos Aires flight will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft offering 8 First Class Private Suites, 42 lie-flat beds in Business and 304 seats in Economy.
Starting 3rd January 2012, EK 247 will leave Dubai daily at 0705hrs and arrive at Rio’s Antônio Carlos Jobim International Airport at 1537hrs. It will depart Rio at 1723hrs, arriving at Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport (Ezeiza) at 1930hrs. From Buenos Aires, EK 248 departs at 2130hrs, arriving in Rio at 0120hrs the next day. The aircraft will depart Rio at 0310hours, arriving in Dubai at 2253hrs.
One of the world’s fastest-growing airlines, Emirates has a fleet of 162 aircraft and has become the world’s largest Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 operator.
With an order for 50 new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft placed at the Dubai Airshow earlier this month, Emirates now has 243 aircraft on order, worth over US$84 billion at list prices.
Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires will be the airline’s 116th and 117th global destinations respectively. They will also become the second and third points to be added to Emirates’ South American network.