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Emirates to open new Gateways on Four Continents in 2004

Travel News Asia 1 December 2003

Emirates plans to open six` new destinations in 2004 including gateways in the US, Scotland, central Europe, China and West Africa in a major network expansion spread across four continents.

On 2 January, the airline's operations in Africa leap forward with flights to Lagos and Accra. On 10 April, Shanghai, Emirates' first destination in mainland China, and Glasgow, the airline's fifth point in the UK, come on line. On 1 May, flights to Vienna in Europe's heartland, will start. And also next year, Emirates will launch a new, non-stop service to New York (subject to government approval) providing the first direct daily air link between the Middle East and North America.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Emirates, said: "In 2004, Emirates will fly further than ever before to reach our goal of a truly global airline. We will open destinations where we know there is demand with services that meet passengers requirements using the very latest technology."

The new non-stop service to New York will dramatically reduce travelling times for business and leisure passengers between East Coast USA and the Lower Gulf and destinations beyond. To date, travel has often been via a point in Europe sometimes requiring a change of terminal. Emirates' new A340-500 brings a new dimension of comfort and inflight entertainment with a state-of-the-art inter-active system with 500 channels including videos on demand.

Flights: Daily flights start on 1 June, subject to government approval, and will be operated with the A340-500 in three-class configuration.

Emirates' passengers from Scotland will gain a daily, upmarket, long haul service to Dubai and points east when flights between Dubai and Glasgow start on 10 April. The non-stop service to Dubai will eliminate the need to travel between Dubai and Scotland via a European gateway and to change terminals in London.

The new service will open up Scotland for business and leisure travellers attracted by the country's stunning scenery, wide range of outdoor pursuits, and the vibrant cultural life and shopping of its cities.

Flights: Daily flights start on April 10 and will be operated with an Airbus A330-200 in a two-class configuration.

The Austrian capital, Vienna, home of the waltz and the famous Opera House, becomes the airline's 18th destination in mainland Europe on May 1.

In May 2004, 10 central European countries officially become members of the European Union. Four of them - Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Slovenia - border Austria and are well placed to use Vienna as a gateway to the Gulf and points east.

Flights: Flights start four times weekly on 1 May and daily flights from 15 May, subject to government approval.

Emirates service to the Nigerian city of Lagos, capital of neighbouring Ghana, Accra, provides the first direct air link between West Africa and the Gulf, boosting trade between the two regions.

Flights: Four times weekly from January 2 non-stop to Lagos and continuing to Accra. Flights will be operated with an A330-200 in three-class configuration. Emirates has full traffic rights between Lagos and Accra.

Emirates' passenger services to Shanghai follow in the wake of its highly successful cargo-only services to the city, its first destination on mainland China.

Flights: Flights will be four times weekly from 10 April and daily from 15 May. They will be operated with an A340-300 in a three-class configuration.

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