View Full Version : Emirates hopes for second flight

4th Dec 2003, 22:15
Fri "The Australian"

Emirates hopes for second flight
By Steve Creedy
December 05, 2003

Emirates' plea for a second daily service to Sydney could be answered by the middle the of next year.

Emirates officials, supported by Sydney Airport chief executive Max Moore-Wilton, headed to Canberra this week with a new submission they hoped would break the deadlock in the push for increased services.

Emirates president Tim Clark, launching the new non-stop Sydney-Dubai service with 258-seat A340-500s, said the airline believed it could sell between 600 and 800 seats daily between Sydney and Dubai.

A second flight, he said, would be in the interest of both Emirates and Australia.

A spokesman for Transport Minister John Anderson indicated this week the Government was likely to revisit the issue within the next six months and would consider its requests seriously.

"We said we would revisit that within a year. We're about half way through that so we've got another six months to go," he said.

"Discussions are about to kick off and there are a number of people - (Tourism Minister) Joe Hockey would be one, Sydney Airport would be another and TTF, I imagine as well - who would be very keen to see Emirates have a role.

"All I can say it's an extremely good airline showing a commitment to Australia and we will consider their requests very seriously."

The A340-500 spearheads Emirates' $26 billion push to almost double its fleet by 2012. The plane is capable of flying non-stop for more than 17 hours.

The showpiece of the new aircraft is a luxurious first class suite, worth about $US150,000 for each berth, which features a personal mini-bar, a built in vanity unit, wardrobes and massage seats that fold down to flat beds.

Push button privacy screens effectively convert the suites into small cabins and the airline offers a room service which allows meals to be ordered from the menu at any time.

Other innovations include mood lighting and a 500-channel entertainment system in all three cabins with video and audio on demand as well as SMS and e-mail capabilities. The system features outsize 15-inch touch screens connected to PC tablets in the premium classes and a bigger than normal nine-inch screen in economy.

One surprising omission on the 14-hour flight, however, is the lie-flat business class sleeper beds. The business class seats recline to a z-shape the airline describes as "cradle mode".

Mr Clark said Emirates believed the cradle mode was more comfortable in many cases than a flat bed and the airline wanted to gauge customer reaction before it considered converting to sleeper beds.

"We believe the seat is very comfortable. Not everybody is particularly happy with the business lie-flat product offering that some have to date."