Friday, 6 July 2018

Emirates introduce its first service to Chile and ramp up capacity for Hajj

One of the world's top airlines, Emirates has launched a new a new flight to Santiago International Airport in Chile today, the first destination in the country for the Dubai based mega carrier.

The airline also says it will ramp up services between Jeddah and Medina between 6th to 31st August this year in support of pilgrims during the annual Hajj. Emirates have already scheduled an additional 33 flights for that period they say.

The new Santiago flight will depart Dubai on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, leaving at 09:05 and operates via Sao Paulo, Brazil, arriving there at 17:00, before departing again at 18:30 and arriving into Santiago at 21:40 on the same day. The return is scheduled to depart Santiago on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 01:10 local time, touching down in Sao Paulo at 05:55, and from there it will leave at 07:45 and head for Dubai where it will arrive at 05:15 the next day. 

The flights are operated by a Boeing 777-200LR flight and of course, as is traditional for the first and lasts, the inaugural flight was greeted by a water cannon salute but the airport first service in both Sao Paulo and Santiago.  


The aircraft deployed on the route is one of the newly refurbished Boeing 777-200LR offering 38 Business Class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration, with 264 seats in Economy Class. In the new Business Class cabin, there is a social area, unique to the Boeing 777-200LR fleet. This mini lounge area features snacks such as crisps, sandwiches and fruit, as well as beverages for customers to help themselves to during the flight. 

Economy Class seats onboard the 777-200LR have also been refreshed to the latest colour palette of soft greys and blues. The ergonomically designed seats come with full leather headrests that have flexible side panels and can also be adjusted vertically for optimum support. Customers can enjoy up to 3,500 channels of on-demand entertainment on ice with 600 movies, over 200 hours of TV, and thousands of music tracks every month. The aircraft is also equipped with Wi-Fi and Live TV across all classes. Business Class passengers also benefit from a complimentary chauffeur drive service in Dubai, Santiago and other select destinations as well as access to Emirates’ global network of airport lounges.

Hubert Frach, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, West said: “We are very pleased to see the interest this new route has created since it was announced in late January, reflected in strong bookings from and to Santiago. Santiago is a very popular leisure and business destination, and this new service will offer customers across our global network, particularly from key inbound markets such the Far East, Middle East and West Asia, a great travel option to South America.”

“The new service will also give travellers from Chile the opportunity to experience Emirates’ superior product and service, and offer them more convenient travel options with Emirates to Sao Paulo, Dubai and onward to destinations across our network,” he added.

“The arrival of Emirates in Chile is an important symbol of trust and confidence in the country, to our authorities and to how Groupe ADP, VINCI Airports and Astaldi Concessioni, through Nuevo Pudahuel, are setting a new standard of service at Arturo Merino Benítez Airport. We are proud that Emirates accepted our proposal because it will not only forever change how Chileans travel to the Middle East, but also because we are strengthening our relations with our operators", said Nicolas Claude, CEO Nuevo Pudahuel.

More flights for Hajj

Emirates has also confirmed it will be operating extra flights to Jeddah and Medina to help facilitate travel for pilgrims heading to and from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Hajj.

The leading Hajj carrier will be operating 33 additional flights to Jeddah and Medina from 6 to 31 August to support the journey for pilgrims expected to travel to the Holy City of Mecca during Hajj this year. These services will run in parallel with Emirates’ regularly scheduled services to Jeddah and Medina. These additional flight services are available to travellers holding a valid Hajj visa. This year, top inbound destinations Emirates is expecting Hajj pilgrims to come from are Pakistan, Senegal, the United States, the UK, Australia, Indonesia, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria. 

Adil Al Ghaith, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Gulf, Middle East and Iran said: “Hajj travel is an extraordinary journey for Muslims which leaves them with a lifetime of memorable experiences, and we expect over 25,000 pilgrims to travel with Emirates this year. With the significant demand for air travel during this period, Emirates is deploying extra flights to ensure more seamless connections for the scores of pilgrims making their way to the Holy City of Mecca. During their journey, we aim to provide our customers with the best experience that is aligned with the pillars of their faith, particularly during this significant period.”

On the ground in Dubai, Emirates has a dedicated airport team whose purpose is to seamlessly facilitate the passenger ground experience for Hajj. In addition, dedicated check-in and transfer counters will be set up for Hajj passengers transiting in Dubai. 

In the air, several initiatives have been planned in keeping with the values and traditions that pilgrims uphold when travelling for Hajj. Extra provisions will be made to accommodate Hajj traveller needs such as performing ablutions, advising passengers about Al Miqat and Ihram (the phase when pilgrims enter a state of sanctity) and other arrangements that will help ease their journey. Emirates’ award winning ice system will also feature a special Hajj video that covers safety, Hajj formalities and information about performing the Hajj pilgrimage. Pilgrims will also be able to tune into the Holy Quran channel.

On flights from Jeddah, Hajj passengers can bring up to 5 litres of holy water (Zamzam) which will be placed in special areas in the cargo hold. As with all Emirates flights, Hajj passengers will enjoy extra generous Emirates baggage allowance of up to 35kg in Economy Class, 40kg in Business Class and 50kg in First Class.

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