Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer (3rd left); Salem Obaidalla, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations, Americas (second right); David Broz, Vice President Aeropolitical and Industry Affairs (second left); Radha Krishna Panday, Ambassador of Canada to the UAE during a ceremony of inaugural flight from Dubai to Montreal. Image Credit: Ashfaq Ahmed/Gulf News

Dubai: Emirates’ first flight from Dubai to Montréal took off on Wednesday (July 5) from Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport.

Montreal, Quebec province’s cultural capital, becomes Emirates’ second gateway in Canada, complementing its passenger services to Toronto, which has been operating in Ontario’s capital city since 2007.

Emirates will operate daily flights from July 5 on Dubai -Montreal sector on its wide-body Boeing 777-300ER to complement daily A380 services to Toronto.

Emirates flight EK243 departed at 3 am from Terminal 3 of the Dubai International Airport with 339 passengers, including a VIP delegation and media onboard.

The new daily service to Montréal complements Emirates’ seven weekly services to Toronto and takes the airline’s North American network to 14 destinations and a total of 18 across the Americas. The service will provide travellers to Canada connectivity via Dubai from points such as Lebanon, India, Iran, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and South Africa.

Direct services between Dubai and Montréal are expected to meet demand from a diverse mix of demographics, including business and leisure travellers, in addition to visiting family and friends that consists of Canadians living and working in the UAE.

With Montréal being home to a number of world-class universities, the route is expected to become immensely popular amongst students from the Middle East, West and Central Asia and Far East.

Emirates executives onboard included: Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer; Salem Obaidalla, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations, Americas; and David Broz, Vice President of Aeropolitical and Industry Affairs.

Salem Obaidalla, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations, Americas Image Credit: Ashfaq Ahmed/Gulf News

‘This route is very important for us. This is our second destination in Canada since 2007 when we launched our operation in Toronto. This route is also important for Canadian passengers as they have 58 destinations beyond Dubai,” said Salem Obaidalla while talking to Gulf News before flight departure. He said that it is going to be a daily flight from Dubai-Montréal-Dubai.

Speaking to Gulf News, Ambassador Panday said: “Since the signing of the expanded Air Transport Agreement in April, there have been a number of announcements of plans to expand air links between the UAE and Canada, but this flight is the first new route that has opened up as a result. Montreal will be only the 2nd Canadian city to receive a direct flight from the UAE, after Toronto.

Canadian Ambassador Radha Krishnan Pandy Image Credit: Ashfaq Ahmed/Gulf News

"Direct flights allow for direct links between people and cultures. Montréal and Dubai have a lot to offer each other in terms of tourism and business opportunities," he added. "This new link will elevate the Canada-UAE relationship and enable more travel, trade, and understanding between our two countries, and will especially benefit many of the 45,000 Canadians living in the UAE."

Emirates will operate its three-class Boeing 777-300ER on the route, featuring eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat seats in Business Class and over 300 spacious seats in Economy Class for the daily service.

Emirates' operations in Canada

Emirates have been serving customers between Dubai and Toronto since 2007, and although the double-decker A380 aircraft has been operating the route since 2009, demand arising from leisure and corporate travellers, diaspora and students has consistently outstripped the allocated capacity. The second destination in Canada will definitely come as a huge relief for passengers on this sector and beyond.