Dubai-based Emirates Airlines hosted a gala dinner in Dublin to promote its new flight service – Dubai-Dublin. The service will operate from 9th January. More than 800 guests attended the event that saw a performance from Lionel Richie.

Emirates Airline organised a gala dinner earlier this week to promote its new daily flight to Dublin, which is all set to take to the skies from 9th January.

The event took place at the Convention Centre Dublin with no less an entertainer than Lionel Richie headlining the event. Some 800 guests, who gathered at the event, also enjoyed the energetic performances of the internationally-renowned Spirit of the Dance show.

Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar and UAE Ambassadors to Ireland and the UK – His Excellencies Khalid Nasser Rashid Lootah and Abdulrahman Ghanem Almutaiwee, respectively – graced the do.

“We can see unusually high demand for the first two weeks after launch. This is an excellent response from the Irish market and we have not witnessed this level of bookings, nor such strong interest in a new route, for many years,” Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President, Passenger Sales Worldwide was quoted in Emirates press release.

“This gives us huge confidence in Ireland and the figures support the commercial research that precedes any decision we take to launch a new service,” he said.

From 9th January, EK 0161 will depart from the Dubai airport at 0700hrs and arrive at Dublin Airport at 1130hrs. The next day, EK 0162 departs Dublin at 1255hrs and lands in Dubai at 0025hrs.

This new service offered by Dubai’s flag carrier will allow passengers to travel non-stop from Ireland to Dubai. Air travellers will also be able to travel onwards to more than destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Australia is undoubtedly one of the key markets for Ireland. And Emirates has 70 flights to Australia every week and this includes an A380 flight to Australia’s Sydney.

Emirates is also the largest A380 operator in the world with 19 double-deckers in the fleet and 71 on order.

“Dublin has always been on our radar and there are already strong levels of trade and tourism activity between Ireland and the UAE, not to mention the important equine affiliations,” Mr Antinori was quoted.

“Equally, Emiratis like to travel to Europe, particularly during the hot UAE summer and, with its rich cultural heritage and reputation for hospitality, we think that Emirates will have a role to play in encouraging inward tourism to Ireland,” he further stated.

Emirates will be plying an A330-200 on the Dublin-Dubai route. The aircraft will have a three-class configuration with adequate options for those who seek luxury while travelling as well as those who would rather go for relatively cheap flight tickets while air commuting. Additionally, the aircraft will feature 15 tonnes of belly hold cargo capacity.

Emirates air freight division, Emirates SkyCargo, is operational in Ireland, majorly transporting goods via the airline’s Manchester gateway.

Meanwhile, Emirates Abu Dhabi rival Etihad Airways announced its plans to employ the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its Dublin route some time after 2014. Etihad has placed a large order with Boeing for the 300-seat aircraft, and the airline hopes to fly the aircraft initially on the routes to Dublin, Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, Delhi and Istanbul.

The increased number of flights might just make it easy for travellers to land up with cheap flight tickets on the route.

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