Premier Geoff Gallop has welcomed the new Emirates non-stop service from Dubai, which began flying direct to Perth today.
Speaking at a press conference at Perth International Airport, Dr Gallop said the new Emirates service would provide a major boost to tourism and international trade.
“Air access is the key to developing international trade and tourism opportunities and we are delighted that Western Australia has been chosen as one of the destinations included in Emirates direct international services from Dubai,” he said.
“The introduction of the new Emirates service is part of our plan to bring more visitors to the State and develop Perth as a major international air tourism and transport hub.
“The service provides excellent opportunities to present WA`s unique tourism product and attractions to the people of Dubai and to those travelling with emirates through its expansive European network.
“It also creates some exciting new trade opportunities with the Middle East.”
The flight from Dubai to Perth is the first non-stop service from the Gulf to Australia and is expected to generate new opportunities for the export of fresh produce from WA worth up to $30million a year. Between 150 and 200 new jobs could also be created.
The State Government had committed $1.65million over three years to support the route, which had the potential to generate $47million a year through tourism to WA.
Dr Gallop also acknowledged the role that Westralia Airports Corporation, the owners of Perth International Airport, played in joining with the Government to convince Emirates to add Perth and WA to their growing international route network.
“Increased competition and capacity is great for this State and I am sure WA will embrace the opportunities it provides,” he said.
“Emirates and the people of Dubai will also benefit as Western Australians begin to learn and understand more about the United Arab Emirates.”
Up to 1,000 visitors a week will arrive in Perth on the Emirates B777-200 series aircraft, which will operate four services a week.
Operating since 1985, Emirates is one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, flying to 59 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. Based in Dubai, Emirates consistently ranks among the world`s top airlines and has established a reputation for quality.