Early on Sunday morning, passengers from nine gateways across Emirates’ Middle East network joined the award-winning airline’s inaugural non-stop flight from Dubai to Narita International Airport in Tokyo, Japan.

emiratesTokyo is the 102nd destination on Emirates’ ever expanding network and the non-stop service brings a huge range of benefits, including the expansion of trade relations between Japan and the UAE, which has grown by 300% to over US$57 billion in 2008 from US$14 billion in 2002, the year Emirates first began flights to Japan.

A high level Emirates delegation led by Richard Vaughan, Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Worldwide, along with a number of the airline’s guests from Tokyo and Dubai, along with members of the media is on aboard the first flight.

Mr Vaughan said, “The fact that passengers from across the Middle East, including the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are joining our inaugural flight to Tokyo, further demonstrates how we are connecting this important region to Japan, be it for business or leisure. We are also seeing passenger traffic demand from Africa, South America and Europe.

“We already have a great deal of experience in serving Japan and we are confident in robust demand for our Tokyo services. In fact we are expecting our seat factor to be over 80% on our Tokyo route during its first year.

“There is already a solid demand from Tokyo. Almost 75,000 passengers from the Kanto area travelled to Dubai between 2008 and 2009 using our Osaka flight. We are happy to be able to offer a non-stop route for these passengers through our Narita service.”

Emirates began flights to Japan in 2002 with its non-stop service to Osaka; Sunday’s inaugural will see the relationship taken to the next level as the airline continues its commitment to this important country.

Emirates will be serving the Tokyo route five times a week using its Boeing 777-300ER with eight Private Suites in First Class; 42 flat-bed seats in Business Class and 304 Economy Class seats.

EK 318 will depart Dubai at 03:15 hours and touch down at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport at 18:00 hours the same day, five times a week on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The return flight EK 319 departs at 21:40 hours, touching down in Dubai at 04:35 hours the following day.