Tuesday, 10 July 2018

UAE: Emirates A380 One-off Flight Lands In Islamabad

Emirates’ special one-off A380 Dubai-Islamabad flight takes off from Dubai on Sunday morning with celebrities, officials and journalists on board.

The airline’s iconic double-decker will make its inaugural arrival in Islamabad on a special flight EK2524/EK2525. It will be the first time that an A380 lands in Pakistan.

Emirates’ special one-off A380 flight landed in Islamabad on Sunday with celebrities, officials, diplomats and journalists on board.

Arrival of the airline’s iconic double-decker special flight EK2524/EK2525 to Islamabad also made history in Pakistan’s aviation as it was the first A380 ever landed in Pakistan.

The special flight, was joined by a VIP delegation led by Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Centre and Adil Al Ghaith, Emirates' Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, GMEI (Gulf, Middle East and Iran).

They were joined by His Excellency Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al Zaabi, the UAE Ambassador to Pakistan and His Excellency Moazzam Ahmad Khan, Pakistan Ambassador to the UAE.

Also travelling on the flight as special guests were two Pakistani members of Emirates’ first ever team, Captain Fazle Ghani, the airline’s first Chief Pilot and Team Lead for Inaugural Operations and Captain Ejaz ul Haq, one of the pilots who operated the first ever Emirates flights from Dubai 33 years ago.

Two Emirates alumni pilots including Captain Ejazul Haq and Captain Fazle Ghani who operated the first ever Emirates flight from Dubai to Karachi on October 35, 1985 were also amongst the guests on board. Captain Ejazul Haq had operated the second Emirates flight from Dubai to Mumbai on the same day.

Though it was the one-off A380 flight between Dubai and Islamabad, the airline wants to make it a regular daily flight in future.

This is our special flight but we want to operate regular daily flight on A380 from Dubai to the new Islamabad airport which is fully equipped to receive the big aircraft, said Shaikh Majid Al Mualla, Divisional Senior Vice President Commercial Operations Centre, Emirates.

Speaking on board the A380, he said that negotiations with the authorities concerned in the Pakistan have already started in this regard. We are very hopeful that passengers on this sector would soon enjoy regular A380flights.

We came here to showcase our innovative products and will continue to work with authorities to realise our plans to increase capacity to all routes to Pakistan, he added.

The special A380 flight depart Dubai 8.15 am to arrive to arrive at the new plush Islamabad airport at 12.20 pm. The flight departed Islamabad at 1540hrs arriving in Dubai at 1745hrs on the same day.

Hamad Al Zaabi, UAE’s Ambassador to Pakistan who was also on board. It is a historical day for UAE and Pakistan. We operated the first flight to Pakistan and now brought the first A380 – the world’s largest aircraft – to Pakistan.

It reflects that we are building on our relations. We want to make it a daily flight and we are working on it.

Moazzam Ahmed Khan, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UAE, who was amongst the special guests on board, said: It is a new chapter in the Pakistan-UAE relations.

Landing of the super jumbo in Pakistan would send positive message to business community and investors around the world that Pakistan is growing market.

He said that government of Pakistan is in discussion with the UAE authorities to finalise agreement to allow Emirates to operate A380 to Pakistan.

It is a win-win situation for both the countries. Emirates is very important to us as thousands of Pakistanis not only from UAE but from around the world use it to travel to and from Pakistan.

Speaking at the reception at Islamabad airport, Pakistan’s Aviation Minister General (retired) Naeem Khaled Lodhi said that it was a great day for Pakistan’s aviation history. “Now we have the airport which can receive all kind of aircraft and we will ask other countries as well to start flights to Islamabad.”

Regarding allowing Emirates’ A380 flights to Pakistan, he said that they were working on the plans keeping in interests of their national airlines. “We hope to reach the agreement soon,” he said.

Captian Fazle Ghani, 86, who operated the Emirates’ first flight to from Dubai to Karachi and Captain Ejazul Haq who operated the Emirates first flight from Dubai to Mumbai were especially honoured at the reception.

I am greatly honoured by the Emriates for remembering me, said Captain Ghani. He said he so proud to have the honour of operating Emirates’ first flight.

Captain Ejazul Haq who now lives in Islamabad said that he had served Emirates airline from 1987 to 2011. Emirates is always ahead of other airlines in future planning and adopting technology and equipment. I feel very proud to have worked for such a great airline, he said.

The Emirates A380 aircraft on this special one-off service is in a two-class configuration offering spacious seats in Economy Class and fully flat-bed seats in Business Class as well as Emirates’ popular Onboard Lounge.

Passengers in all classes enjoy free Wi-Fi to stay in touch with family and friends and Emirates’ multi-award winning ice inflight entertainment with up to 3,500 channels of movies, TV programmes, music and podcasts on the industry’s biggest personal screens in each class of travel.

Emirates and Pakistan have a shared history tracing back over 30 years when the airline’s flight landed in Karachi on 25 October 1985.

In the last three decades, Emirates has progressively expanded its operations and offering global connectivity and world-class services to Pakistan’s major cities including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Sialkot and Multan.

Emirates Skywards, the award-winning loyalty programme, offers its more than 400,000 Pakistani members’ exclusive privileges, including earning Skywards Miles when they fly on Emirates or partner airlines, or when they use the programme’s designated hotels, car rentals, financial, leisure and lifestyle partners.

Emirates currently has 104 A380s in service and 58 pending delivery, more than any airline globally. The airline also recently announced a US$ 16 billion (AED 58.7 billion) deal for 36 additional Airbus A380 aircraft.

There are about 400,000 Pakistani travellers who are part of the airline’s loyalty programme, the Emirates Skywards.

Shaikh Majid Al Mualla, Divisional Senior Vice President Commercial Operations Centre of Emirates, presented an Emirates aircraft model to Pakistan's minister and honoured the first Pakistani pilots of Emirates first flight to Pakistan in 1985: Captain Fazle Ghani and Captain Ejazul Haq.

The flight landed smoothly at 12:20pm (Pakistan time), with a round of applause and cheers from passengers. The flight gets a warm welcome at the new Islamabad International Airport as the first A380 plane to land there.

Anoushy Ashraf, a Pakistani social media influencer, said she is loving the "wonderful flight". "I hope this would turn into a regular daily flight," she said.

The A380 flight departs Dubai at 8am to arrive in Islamabad in 3 hours and 10 minutes. The flight will depart Islamabad at 3:40pm, and arrive in Dubai at 5:45pm on the same day.

Although the flight is a one-off, it is fully booked with commercial passengers, except for a small official delegation.

Captain Fazle Ghani, who operated the first Emirates flight to Pakistan in 1985, is on board as a special guest. He is now 86.

Among the guests on board is Captain Ejazul Haq, the second pilot to operate the first Emirates flight from Dubai to Mumbai on October 26, 1985.

Also on board are Pakistan's Ambassador to the UAE, Moazzam Ahmed Khan; Shaikh Majid Al Mualla, Emirates' Divisional Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations Centre, and Raza Jafar, a prominent Pakistani businessman.

The airline said it wants to make this flight a regular daily service in the future.

“We are proud to bring our flagship A380 aircraft to Islamabad, and we look forward to showcasing our innovative products on-board this iconic aircraft with the signature Emirates service. While this is a special flight, we are very keen to launch a scheduled A380 service to Pakistan and will continue to work with authorities to realise these plans,” said Shaikh Majid Al Mualla, Divisional Senior Vice President Commercial Operations Centre of Emirates.

Shaikh Majid presents Emirates aircraft model to Pakistani minister

Shaikh Majid then honoured the first Pakistan pilots who operated the first Emirates flight from Dubai to Karachi, Captain Fazle Ghani abd captain Ejazul Haq.
Shaikh Majid then honours the first pakistan pilots who operated the first Emirates flight from Dubai to Karachi, Captain Fazle Ghani abd captain Ejazul Haq.

He says that he is greatly honored today. I am so happy that Emirates remembered me. I still cherish moments of Emirates first flight.

The Emirates A380 aircraft on this special one-off service is in a two-class configuration offering spacious seats in Economy Class and fully flat-bed seats in Business Class as well as Emirates' popular onboard lounge.

Tourism Observer

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