Emirates celebrated the New Year in a ‘big’ way by becoming the first airline to operate a scheduled Airbus A380 service to Malaysia.
The airline’s flagship, operating as EK346, piloted by Malaysian national Captain Kwong Yung Ling arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) earlier to a traditional welcome of a water canon salute.
Joining Captain Kwong on the flight deck for the first flight was First Officer Abdulaziz Alusaimi from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“We have been eagerly awaiting the start of our Airbus A380 service to Malaysia, a country that we have been operating flights to since 1996,” said Richard Jewsbury, Emirates’ senior vice president, commercial operations, Far East & Australasia.
“I am sure that this historic milestone in both Malaysian aviation history and in the Emirates story will further strengthen ties between Malaysia and the UAE, in addition to promoting trade and tourism opportunities between the two nations.
The 489 seat A380 operates as EK346 departing Dubai at 04:05 and arriving in Kuala Lumpur at 14:55 on the same day.
The return leg, EK347, will depart Kuala Lumpur at 19:30 arriving in Dubai at 22:30 also on the same day.
“The start of 2012 will be a busy time for Emirates, in addition to launching our A380 aircraft on one of our three daily non-stop flights between Dubai and Kuala Lumpur, we are also expanding our network to include Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro in South America from January 3rd and Dublin in Ireland from January 9th, opening up more opportunities for Malaysian travellers and businesses,” added Mr Jewsbury.
Emirates’ A380 service arrives in Dubai at a convenient time giving passengers the options of onward connections to any of Emirates’ expanding list of over 116 European, Middle Eastern, African and American destinations.