Emirates’ award-winning A380 touched down at Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) yesterday as the airline bought its popular aircraft into Jordan for a one-off service.
The celebratory A380 flight, touched down to a water cannon salute with almost 400 passengers on-board. The flight was welcomed by key officials including: Her Highness Princess Dana Feras, H.E. Engineer Yahya Kisbi, Minister of Transport, H.E. Lina Annab, Minister of Tourism and Antiques and Kjeld Binger, CEO of Airport International Group.
Travelling on the flight from Dubai was Adel Al Redha, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer for Emirates; Adil Al Ghaith, Senior Vice President Commercial Operations, Gulf Middle East and Iran, key UAE government and parliamentary officials as well as prominent members from the UAE business community.
Adel Al Redha said: “It is fitting that after 30 years of solid service on the Amman – Dubai route, we have landed our award-winning A380 aircraft in Jordan. Yesteday’s A380 service to Queen Alia International Airport reinforces the long-standing tourism and business relationship that Emirates and the UAE share with Jordan and its local authorities. We look forward to operating the A380 on a scheduled basis to and from Amman.”
H.E. Engineer Yahya Kisbi, Minister of Transport said: “The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and The United Arab Emirates have always had strong ties and brotherly relationships in all fields. The aviation sector is no exception. Queen Alia International Airport is our country’s pearl and pride. Its second phase of expansion was inaugurated early this month under the Patronage of HRH the Crown Prince in its ultimate design which can accommodate widebody aircrafts such as the A380. The arrival of the Emirates A380 in the same month of the expansion gives us great pride and as the proverb goes: “To climb steep hills requires a slow pace at first. ”
In turn, Kjeld Binger, CEO of Airport International Group – the Jordanian company responsible for the rehabilitation, expansion and operation of QAIA – said, “As we welcome the first-ever A380 service to the Kingdom, we also celebrate Jordan and QAIA’s longstanding and invaluable partnership with Emirates, which has facilitated the transportation of millions of travellers and tons of cargo between our two countries to date. This milestone was made possible as a direct result of the completion of the second phase of the Airport’s New Terminal Project earlier this month, which has not only enabled us to receive larger aircrafts, including the A380, but also to increase the Airport’s passenger capacity, providing us with upgraded, state-of-the-art facilities from which to continue to receive guests from the UAE and around the world.”
Once docked at the terminal, government ministers, VIPs, Queen Alia International’s Airport executives, trade guests and media enjoyed a guided static tour of the double-decker aircraft. The tour gave the guests a chance to see first-hand the innovative amenities provided for passengers on-board.
Emirates’ A380 is renowned for its First Class Private Suites, Shower Spas and on-board lounge for First Class and Business Class passengers, offering a wide range of drinks and canapés, as well as space to socialise or simply relax.
The Emirates A380 flying to Amman operated in a three-class configuration, with 429 generously pitched seats in Economy Class on the lower deck, 76 flat-bed seats in Business Class and 14 First Class Private Suites on the upper deck. Passengers travelling on the main deck in Economy Class enjoyed stretching out in seats with a pitch of up to 33 inches. Passengers in all classes enjoyed the unparalleled quietness of the aircraft and the 12- time award-winning ice in-flight entertainment system with a choice of over 2,500 channels on-demand.
As the largest operator of the double-decker aircraft, Emirates’ fleet of 83 A380s now fly to over 40 destinations from the Dubai Hub. Additional A380 destinations that are set to launch this year include Guangzhou and Moscow on 1 October and Christchurch on 30 October.
The Emirates A380 service yesterday operated as EK 901 and EK 902, departing Dubai at 0725hrs and arriving in Amman at 0930hrs. The flight departed Amman at 1300hrs, arriving in Dubai at 1700hrs.
Emirates has been flying to Jordan since 1986, and since then has carried over 4.1 million passengers. In the last five years, Emirates has also transported 100,000 tonnes of cargo to and from the country. Emirates operates three daily flights between Amman and Dubai.
Emirates also employs almost 400 Jordanian nationals across the organization, including 60 Cabin Crew and eleven Jordanian pilots, of which seven operate the A380.