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A380 Flies to Birmingham; Emirates to Open Lounge

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An Emirates' Airbus A380 was the star attraction at Birmingham Airport's 70th anniversary celebrations.

Seventy years after Birmingham Airport’s first passengers departed in an 8-seat de Havilland Dragon Rapide aircraft, many across the city were mesmerised on Wednesday, by the largest passenger jet aircraft ever built - the Airbus A380.

The Emirates' A380 was operating a special service on the airline’s lunchtime flights to and from Birmingham, giving passengers from the West Midlands a one-off opportunity to experience its luxurious onboard amenities.

These include Private Suites and Shower Spas in First Class, flat beds in Business Class, an Onboard Lounge for First and Business Class customers, and more generous seats and wider aisles in Economy Class.

During the anniversary event, bringing together around 500 guests from the travel, business and airline community, the airline announced another treat for travellers from the region, the construction of a 7,000 sqf Emirates Lounge.

Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline, who flew into Birmingham on the A380 to mark the occasion and the opening of the airport's new International Pier, said, “Birmingham is a key point on our global network, and it’s important that we offer premium travellers from this region our superior service on the ground, as well as in the air. Emirates has invested over Dhs 230 million (US$63m) in lounges around the world. We’re delighted that premium passengers flying from Britain’s second largest city will soon be able to experience the luxury of an Emirates Lounge.”

The Emirates Lounge will open this winter, and be located close to the airline’s departure gate in Terminal 1. It will be available to Emirates’ First and Business Class passengers, as well as Gold members of its Skywards frequent flyer programme.

The lounge will have seating for more than 100 passengers, with a large number of leather armchairs available and a plasma screen showing the latest news and lifestyle programmes from a selection of global channels.

Passengers can look forward to an extensive menu of complimentary hot and cold gourmet dishes, a range of beverages and full shower facilities. There will also be a business centre with workstations and complimentary broadband and wireless LAN access.

Paul Kehoe, the CEO of Birmingham International Airport, said, “This significant investment demonstrates the continuing commitment Emirates has in Birmingham and the Midlands region. We’re delighted that Emirates' President Tim Clark was able to announce the news on such a significant occasion as we celebrated the 70th anniversary and launched our new £50m (US$82m) International Pier. Together, the new Pier and business lounge will give passengers travelling with Emirates from Birmingham a truly unforgettable experience.”

Emirates operates 14 daily non-stop flights from Dubai to the UK. In addition to its twice daily service to Birmingham, it flies to Heathrow (five times daily), London Gatwick (thrice daily), Manchester (twice daily), and Newcastle and Glasgow (daily).

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