Emirates touches down in Orlando, shows off its Airbus A380 superjumbo

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Emirates shows off one of its business-class seats on its Airbus A380, which was on display as the carrier began service to Orlando on Sept. 1, 2015. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen Emirates shows off one of its first-class "suites" on its Airbus A380, which was on display as the carrier began service to Orlando on Sept. 1, 2015. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen The lounge and bar area on Emirates Airbus A380. It's located in the business-class section in the rear of the upper deck. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen An ad at Orlando International Airport on Sept. 1, 2015. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen Emirates' Airbus A380 receives a celebratory water-cannon salute as it arrives to Orlando on the airline's first day of service to the city on Sept. 1, 2015. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen Emirates Airbus A380 arrives to Orlando on Sept. 1, 2015. It was the airline's first day of service to the central Florida city. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen Scenes from an Emirates press event touting its inaugural day of service between Dubai and Orlando on Sept. 1, 2015. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen A suite market as seen in the first class cabin of the Emirates Airbus A380 that made the airline's inaugural flight to Orlando on Sept. 1, 2015. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen Emirates shows off its 'amenities' -- namely toys and activity books -- offered on its flights between Dubai and Orlando. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen Emirates shows off one of its coach-class cabin on its Airbus A380, which was on display as the carrier began service to Orlando on Sept. 1, 2015. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen A name tag for Emirates CEO sits in front of a sign saying "Hello Orlando" on Sept. 1, 2015. Emirates held a press event to tout its inaugural day of service between Dubai and Orlando. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen Onboard amenities available for Emirates' first-class passengers. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen Emirates' Airbus A380 receives a celebratory water-cannon salute as it arrives to Orlando on the airline's first day of service to the city on Sept. 1, 2015. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen Emirates flight attendants are seen ahead of Emirates inaugural events in Orlando on Sept. 1, 2015. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen Scenes from an Emirates press event touting its inaugural day of service between Dubai and Orlando on Sept. 1, 2015. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen Everything is at the touch of a button for Emirates' customers sitting in first class. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen Emirates Airbus A380 arrives to Orlando on Sept. 1, 2015. It was the airline's first day of service to the central Florida city. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen Speaking at a press event celebrating Emirates arrival to Orlando are (from left): Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs; Emirates CEO Sheikh Frank Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum; and Greater Orlando Airport Authority Chairman Frank Kuppenbacher. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen Emirates branding visible inside one of its Airbus A380s as seen in Orlando on Sept. 1, 2015. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen An overhead view of a first-class seat on Emirates Airbus A380. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen Emirates shows off one of its coach-class cabin on its Airbus A380, which was on display as the carrier began service to Orlando on Sept. 1, 2015. Seen here are some of the toys and 'amenities' offered to children on Emirates' flights. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen Emirates Airbus A380 arrives to Orlando on Sept. 1, 2015. It was the airline's first day of service to the central Florida city. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen The shower area available to the first-class customers on Emirates Airbus A380. S Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen The shower area available to the first-class customers on Emirates Airbus A380. S Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen Emirates' Airbus A380 receives a celebratory water-cannon salute as it arrives to Orlando on the airline's first day of service to the city on Sept. 1, 2015. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen An Emirates flight attendant welcomes visitors to the carrier's Airbus A380 in Orlando on Sept. 1, 2015. Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY Fullscreen Like this topic? You may also like these photo galleries: Replay Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide Emirates flight attendants pose for a photo ahead of a celebratory press conference for the airline's inaugural Orlando flight on Sept. 1, 2015. (Photo: Susan B. Barnes, special for USA TODAY)
Tags Corrine Brown Jetblue Airways Boeing John F. Kennedy Sr. O'Hare International Airport RW Great Barrier Reef 13 CONNECT 4 TWEET ORLANDO -- Emirates airline has commenced its newest U.S. route, connecting one of America's top tourist destinations to one of the world's fastest-growing aviation hubs.
Just after 11:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Emirates touched down at Orlando International Airport. Its inaugural daily non-stop flight -- Emirates Flight 219 -- arrived nearly 16 hours after taking off from Dubai International Airport. The return flight -- Emirates Flight 220 is set to depart from Orlando on Wednesday afternoon, fully inaugurating daily round-trip service between the cities.
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The partnership between Emirates and the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority has been five years in the making, linking two of the world's busiest airports. Dubai International Airport is expected to serve 82 million passengers this year, and the Orlando area welcomed 62 million visitors last year.
"I am pleased we are able to make this announcement today," Emirates CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said Tuesday in Orlando. . "Emirates is proud to be a connector of people, places and economies."
"We are honored to call your city our new home," he continued.
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The estimated economic impact of the new daily flight from Dubai to Orlando is upwards of $100 million annually, according to Frank Kruppenbacher, chairman of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.
"This is such an economic engine for the community – very exciting," said U.S. Representative Corrine Brown from the 5th District of Florida.
Among the biggest upsides for Orlando, the Emirates route will provide one of the quickest one-stop routings between Orlando and burgeoning markets like India and Southeast Asia.
"Emirates is a premier airline and this is a significant new air service route for Orlando International as it opens the gateway to Asia, Africa, the Middle East and even Australia and the Great Barrier Reef," Kruppenbacher added in a statement.
Emirates' debut arrival marked another first for Orlando International Airport. It was the first time that an airline has flown an A380 to Orlando on a regularly scheduled passenger flight. A380s have visited Orlando before -- either on a promotional visit or as a diversion -- but Tuesday's flight was the first to arrive with paying airline passengers on a regularly scheduled Orlando-bound flight.
As for Emirates, it has partnerships in place with three U.S. airlines – JetBlue, Virgin America and Alaska Airlines. Of particular note in Orlando would be Emirates' partnership with JetBlue, which has a busy operation there.
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However, while Emirates' inaugural Orlando flight was on an A380, the carrier's regular service on the route will be on Boeing 777-200LR aircraft. The planes offer eight first-class "suites," 42 lie-flat business-class seats and 216 seats in coach.
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Amenities in all classes include multi-course meals and complimentary drinks; personal digital widescreen TVs with up to 100 channels, 600 audio channels and up to 100 video games; noise-cancelling headphones; auto-adjusting lighting designed to reduce jet-lag and in-seat power supply.
Emirates' arrival into Orlando marks its 10th gateway in the USA and fourth on the Eastern Seaboard. Emirates began flying to the USA in 2004. It's other U.S. destinations are Boston, Chicago O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston Bush Intercontinental, Los Angeles, New York JFK, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington Dulles.
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