Yesterday’s (Nov 1) launch of flights to Adelaide from Dubai have been warmly welcomed by the city’s hoteliers, with the new services set to add 200,000 seats per year into the South Australian capital.
Accor’s Regional Manager for Victoria and South Australia, Adrian Williams, said South Australian tourism will see significant benefits from the new services.
“We believe there is great potential for South Australian tourism and hotel operators to benefit from Emirates’ new direct flight,” he told HM.
“South Australia offers a lot of high-quality tourism experiences, with outstanding food and wine attractions. There are good touring options and Adelaide has plentiful accommodation at all price points.”
Emirates’ new non-stop Boeing 777-300ER service will initially operate on a four-times per week basis before moving to daily from February 1, 2013.
Hilton’s Vice President of Operations for Australasia, Ashley Spencer, told HM the new flights would be good for business.
“We welcome the commencement of the new Emirates route from Dubai to Adelaide,” he said. “An increase in international airlift to Australia, especially to cities like Adelaide, opens the destination to a world of new business and leisure travel opportunities.”
The airline’s 360-seat Boeing 777-300ER – fitted with First, Business and Economy cabins –is also the largest aircraft to operate into Adelaide.
“We are investing in South Australia for the long haul, dedicating a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to the route fitted with our highest on-board product offering and employing more than 150 South Australians in airline and airport service,” said Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Far East and Australasia, Salem Obaidalla.
“We have long held ambitions to operate flights to Adelaide, and today heralds a new level of connectivity from South Australia to Dubai, and the world with Emirates international network of more than 120 destinations,” he said.
“When the service becomes daily from 1st February, it will mean nearly 5,000 additional international seats per week on the route, representing a 30 per cent increase for the market, boosting jobs and investment in South Australia’s AUD$5.3 billion tourism sector and adding 14 tonnes of commercial cargo space on each flight.
“South Australia is fast becoming recognised as one of Australia’s pre-eminent tourism, business and resource-rich regions, and the start of services to Adelaide signifies the enhancement of key tourism and trade links between South Australia and the UAE, and beyond to our global network.
“The new service will carry more than 200,000 passengers each year between South Australia and Dubai, with the UK and Europe expected to be strongest markets for both inbound and outbound travel. It will also open up Adelaide’s first direct flight links with the Middle East,” Obaidalla said.
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill, said his state was thrilled with the arrival of Emirates into Adelaide.
“This directly reflects the growing importance of South Australia as a source of tourist and business travel,” he said.
“It will encourage greater interest and investment from the fast-growing markets of the Middle East and Europe and also provide direct access to the state’s world- class wineries, events and attractions such as Kangaroo Island and the Flinders Ranges.”
Australia’s Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson, said the new services were a win for the nation’s tourism industry.
“By introducing regular flights to Adelaide, Emirates is further displaying its confidence in the Australian market,” he said.
“This new route, in conjunction with other new air services this year, will help Australia’s tourism industry reach its Tourism 2020 potential of $140 billion in overnight expenditure.
“Emirates’ expansion will also benefit the South Australian economy and its tourism operators, for whom the Middle East is emerging as a vitally important market.”
Ferguson said during the 2011-12 financial year, almost 114,000 visitors from the Middle East contributed AUD$388 million in tourism expenditure to the Australian economy.
“With 99 per cent of international visitors to Australia arriving by air, aviation growth is vital to the health of the tourism industry and a key aim of the Government’s Tourism 2020 strategy.
“Growth in flights and seats to Australia has been a stand out performer for Australian tourism with seats increasing four per cent in 2011-12 to 19.1 million seats,” he said.
This year, Emirates has also launched flights to Dublin, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Dallas Fort Worth, Seattle, Lusaka, Harare, Ho Chi Minh City, Barcelona, Lisbon, Washington DC, Erbil, Lyon, Phuket, Warsaw and Algiers.
The airline also joins Qantas, Virgin Australia, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand and Malaysia Airlines in offering international flights to and from Adelaide.