FLL spreads its international wings
New Emirates flights brings new opportunities to travel
The arrival of the first Emirates airline flight from Dubai is further evidence of how Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is offering more long-haul international flights.
While FLL has long had flights to the Caribbean, Central America and Latin America, in recent years it has added flights to Copenhagen, Denmark; London; Oslo, Norway; and Paris. Emirates, which was rated the world’s best airline in the 2016 Skytrax Awards, will provide major connectivity to Europe, Asia and Africa with its hub in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
“Emirates is a premier airline that serves 154 destinations in 82 countries across six continents,” Mark Gale, FLL’s CEO and director of aviation for Broward County, said when the first Emirates flight arrived on Dec. 15. “We are now connected to the world through FLL like never before. This is a game changer.”
Gale said the flights’ economic impact has been estimated at nearly $105 million annually and helps support 1,000 existing and new jobs.
Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said Emirates is helping make FLL a truly international airport and repeated a quip that she overheard: “FLL had scooped Miami” by adding the service.
Hubert Frach, Emirates’ senior vice president of western operations, said the initial flight was 80 percent full and the airline has strong bookings in the holiday season.
Emirates says travelers from FLL will have rapid connections in Dubai to cities such as Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand; Kuala Lumpur; Singapore; Amman, Jordan; Bahrain; Beirut; Dammam, Saudi Arabia; Doha, Qatar; Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai in India; and Islamabad and Lahore in Pakistan.
Emirates also has a code sharing agreement with Jet Blue, which has been rapidly expanding its hub at FLL.
Emirates Flight EK214 leaves FLL at 8:20 p.m. daily and arrives in Dubai at 7:40 p.m. the following day, with a flying time of 14 hours and 20 minutes. The return flight, EK213, leaves at 3 a.m. Dubai time and arrives at FLL at 10:25 a.m.
Dubai is a major global tourism and business center with attractions such as the Jumeirah Islands community, an aquarium, an indoor mall with a ski slope, and the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building at 2,717 feet.
Emirates’ Fort Lauderdale flights have eight private first-class suites, 42 business-class lie-flat beds, and 216 economy-class seats.
The first-class suites come with a sliding door for privacy, a minibar, adjustable lighting, a vanity table, a mirror and wardrobe. The suite seats convert to a fully flat bed with a mattress. Adjacent seats can be combined by lowering a privacy divider.
Business-class seats include a 20-inch TV screen.
Emirates’ inflight entertainment system offers more than 2,500 channels of on-demand entertainment at every seat. The Skytrax awards ranked Emirates first in this category.
Passengers also have access to Emriates AeroMobile system, which allows use of personal cellphones to make calls and exchange text messages.
The airline is also known for regionally inspired dishes, complimentary wines and children’s menus and activities. First-class and business-class passengers may travel to and from airports via complimentary chauffeur service.
Emirates has carried more than 14 million passengers on U.S. flights since it began service to New York in 2004. The airline currently serves 11 U.S. gateways.
Emirates SkyCargo transports up to 650 tons of U.S. exports each week, including auto parts from New York, apples and cherries from Seattle, and oil and gas equipment from Houston.↵