More than 450 VIPs, including a former astronaut, government officials and business, travel and community leaders, thronged a stylish gala dinner here to celebrate Emirates’ first passenger service to New York.The astronaut was Colonel Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, who became the second man ever to set foot on the Moon when he followed Neil Armstrong down the ladder of the Apollo XI lunar lander on 20th July 1969.
Diplomats at the dinner at Cipriani’s glamorous Manhattan restaurant included the UAE ambassador in the United States, and the UAE, Bahraini, Omani and Saudi Arabian ambassadors to the United Nations. They were entertained by Welsh singer Tom Jones.
Welcoming them, Maurice Flanagan, CBE, Emirates’ Vice-Chairman and Group President said the new daily non-stop service confirms the Dubai-based carrier’s place as “a truly global airline” serving all five continents.
The Big Apple was Emirates’ first passenger destination in the Americas, and will soon be joined by Toronto, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, he said.
The remarkable Airbus A340-500 jets used by Emirates on its New York route can carry customers almost anywhere on Earth with no more than a single stop in Dubai, the new world hub for the 21st century.
The luxurious A340-500 features enclosed First Class suites with flat beds and privacy doors; ultra-quiet cabins; in-seat phones; and the world’s most advanced in-flight entertainment system, with 500-plus channels of film, TV, radio and music.
With one of the youngest fleets in the skies, and 250 customer service awards to its credit, the award-winning carrier has established itself firmly as one of the world’s most successful airlines since it first took off in 1985.
Its non-stop EK 201 New York service leaves Dubai daily at 8:00am to reach JFK’s ultra-modern Terminal 4 at 2:00 pm that day. The return EK202 leaves JFK at 11:30 pm to land in Dubai at 8:20 pm next day.