(MENAFN- Khaleej Times)
Emirates Airlines’ first-ever passenger service between Dubai and Miami can generate an estimated $275 million in revenue, said officials at the Miami-Dade County aviation department.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said that the new direct route between Dubai and Miami would play a role in pandemic recovery by boosting tourism and commerce.
“We’re thrilled to finally welcome Emirates into our community,” said Cava.“We’re looking forward to seeing the important economic impact the four weekly flights will bring to the county, which will expand options for our residents as a result.”
Dubai’s flagship airline celebrated the inaugural flight of its four times a week service when it touched down in Miami, Florida, at 11 am EST on Thursday, July 22. A water cannon salute welcomed the Emirates flight EK213 at the Miami International Airport.
Starting this week, Emirates will operate four flights per week between Miami and Dubai with the Boeing 777 Game Changer aircraft.
Speaking at the gate event after the inaugural flight, Cava said:“Over the last 16 months, we have had great growth at Miami International Airport. Our tourism industry is making a robust recovery after the pandemic. This (Emirates Airlines) launch symbolises that we can, and we will rebound, stronger than ever.”
Meanwhile, the Miami Dade county commission chairman Jose Pepe Diaz said having a direct flight will benefit the trade and cargo sectors between both cities as well. Since 2019, Emirates SkyCargo, the airline’s freight division, has moved more than 7,700 tonnes of cargo in and out of Miami.
Emirates US operations on path to recovery
Along with Orlando, the new service to Miami provides an additional access point to and from Florida and expands Emirates’ US network to 12 destinations with over 70 weekly flights. The airline has resumed passenger services to over 120 destinations, and by the end of July, it will have recovered close to 90 per cent of its pre-pandemic network.
“It also links travellers from Miami, as well as Southern Florida, South America and the Caribbean to over 50 points across the Middle East, West Asia, Africa, Far East and the Indian Ocean Islands via Dubai,” said Essa Sulaiman Ahmed, divisional vice president (DVP), USA and Canada.
“Miami is a destination we have wanted to serve for many years. Our studies show the route has immense economic viability,” said Ahmed.
He explained:“We have been looking at new ways to tackle the pandemic, which industries are opening up. And our research has shown that travel demand is highest among leisure travellers and those wishing to visit their families. However, demand from the corporate and SME sectors is also increasing gradually.”
“We are confident that our new flight will help boost tourism and commerce, and we look forward to contributing further to the local economy and supporting the surrounding region’s economic recovery,” he added.
According to Ahmed,“there is no doubt that we are going through one of the toughest phases in aviation; however, today’s event is a testament to our commitment to recovery through partnerships.” The DVP hopes that the service will be popular with customers seeking new experiences as countries like the UAE and the US advance their vaccination drives.
Ahmed also said adequate facilities had been put in place to provide medical aid to visitors from the UAE if they contract Covid-19 while visiting the US.
Rolando Aedo, chief operating officer of Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, told Khaleej Times:“Over the past year and a half, we have worked closely with our partner hotels, restaurants and convention halls to mitigate risks of Covid infections every step of the customer journey. Massive investments have been made not just in infrastructure, but also in staff training.”
New route will benefit Miami’s post-pandemic tourism, trade economy
Emir Pineda, manager of aviation trade and logistics with the Miami-Dade County aviation department, said the route is estimated to generate at least $275 million in revenue.
“The industry generates $25 billion in totality and 70 per cent of all our visitors come through this airport,” explained Aedo.
“Whenever you have a carrier like Emirates coming online, it generates significant incremental activity and not just for people looking for leisure, but for those looking for business opportunities, meetings and conventions, which are key for economic development.”
Aedo also said that the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau looks forward to collaborating with Emirates Airlines to make Expo 2020 a success.
Dhanusha Gokulan Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for over ten years. For Khaleej Times, she covers NRI affairs, civil aviation, and immigration issues among other things. She completed her BA in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008 and is currently pursuing her MA in Leadership and Innovation in Contemporary Media at the American University in Dubai. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves food, and is mom to an over-enthusiastic Labrador retriever. Tweet at her @shootsprintrite.
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