Ahmedabad, Oct 29 (UNI) Emirates first flight to Ahmedabad, EK 538, touched down to a warm welcome at 1100 hrs at the Sardar Vallabhai Patel International Airport.
The inaugural flight carrying a high-level Emirates delegation led by Nabil Sultan, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Gulf, West Asia and Iran, was received by B P Bhagat, Airport Director, SVP International Airport Ahmedabad, carrying passengers from the US, UK, UAE, Kuwait and Singapore. The flight was greeted by a water canon salute at the city's international airport.
To usher in an auspicious start for the new service, airport officials and members of the Emirates delegation including Salem Obaidalla, Vice President, Commercial Operations West Asia and Indian Ocean, and Orhan Abbas, Vice President India and Nepal, participated in a cake cutting and exchange of gifts ceremony.
Nabil Sultan said, ''Today, Emirates has launched a new era of air travel and trading links between Ahmedabad, India's textile, pharmaceutical and jewellery centre, and Dubai, the gateway to the West Asia and the world beyond.'' ''The start of Emirates services firmly establishes Ahmedabad on the international map of the world. Business and leisure travellers are no longer required to travel to Mumbai to fly overseas, as Emirates will connect them to 97 gateways in 60 countries in the West Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas, and Australasia via its Dubai hub.'' He said, ''Ahmedabad is Emirates' ninth Indian, 97th global and fourth new gateway in the present year. The Dubai-based airline is strengthening its footprint in India, particularly Western India. In addition to launching flights to Ahmedabad, Emirates has introduced a fourth daily service to Mumbai, effective from yesterday.
The new service offers passengers an afternoon departure from India's commercial hub, adding to the current two morning and one evening departures from Mumbai to Dubai, and boosts the operation to 28 flights per week.