emirates-TokyoThe countdown to the launch of Emirates’ non-stop flights to Tokyo began on Thursday in Japan’s capital city with the award-winning international airline hosting a road show for over 450 travel industry professionals.

Richard Jewsbury, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Far East & Australasia, welcomed the guests at the road show, saying: “Just over seven years ago, Emirates became the first airline to link Japan with the Gulf region, since that date expanding direct services to Japan has been a high priority for us.

“Thanks to the revised air services agreement it is wonderful to be able to stand here before you this evening as we celebrate the countdown to the start of non-stop services between Tokyo and Dubai on 28th March, and begin a new chapter in the partnership between Dubai and Japan.”

Tokyo is the first of a number of exciting route launches in 2010 for Emirates, as the airline’s network expands across the six continents that it currently flies to non-stop from Dubai. Tokyo’s 28th March launch is followed by the start of services to Amsterdam on 1st May, Prague on 1st July and the Spanish city of Madrid on 1st August.

While Emirates uses it road show to reach out to the travel industry nationally; publicising Japan around the world as a destination is an ongoing commitment by the airline, which has invested US$14 million over the last two years promoting the country.

During the road show, a working model of the Emirates First Class Private Suite was unveiled to the audience; it is just one example of the on-board products that help to differentiate Emirates. There will be eight Private Suites aboard the Boeing 777-300ER that will be operating the route, with 42 flat-bed seats in Business Class and 304 Economy Class seats.

During the journey, while passengers are enjoying the ice in-flight entertainment, which includes Japanese audio, television and movie channels, they can savour the delicacies served to them from the new Japanese menu, which will be unveiled shortly on the airline’s Japan services to celebrate the start of the Tokyo route.

Since 2002, Emirates has carried over 1.3 million people and 60,000 tonnes of cargo on its flights to Japan, which is set to grow with the addition of the five flights a week to Tokyo to the already established daily, non-stop flight to Osaka.

The new route will also strengthen the long standing partnership between Emirates and Japan Airlines, with code sharing on the Narita service, in addition to the existing code share on Emirates’ Osaka flights.

The new service will bring a huge range of benefits, including the continuation of trade relations between Japan and UAE, which has grown by 300% to over US$57 billion in 2008 from US$14.5 billion in 2002, the year Emirates first began its flights to Osaka.

With over 3,000 Japanese nationals currently living in Dubai, the new and existing Emirates route will offer a seamless connection between the two cities and for passengers from Japan, the routes will open up the Emirates network on six continents via Dubai.

Emirates inaugural EK 318 will depart Dubai at 02:50 hours and touch down at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport at 17:55 hours the same day. EK 319 will depart from Tokyo at 21:40 hours landing in Dubai at 04:35 hours the following day.