101-year-old traveller flies Emirates
Rachida, a seasoned traveller, was extended a First-Class upgrade by Emirates. Image Credit: Emirates

Dubai: Emirates welcomed 101-year-old centenarian Algerian traveller Rachida Smati onboard its flight to Algiers, Dubai's flagship airline announced Monday.

Rachida flew to Algiers with Emirates after visiting friends and family in Dubai. This was her third visit to the city, and she said Dubai is one of her favourite destinations for its accessibility, high standards of medical care, and vibrant attractions.


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Born in Algeria in 1923, Rachida's first flight was to Paris when she was 21. She continues to be an avid traveller and loves flying to the Emirates for its signature onboard experience and service, the airline said in a statement.

Rachida, a seasoned traveller, was extended a First-Class upgrade by the airline and was also greeted by a dedicated team, ensuring she was fast-tracked through the airport before heading to the First-Class lounge.

Rachida said, "I had a great experience on my Emirates flight to Dubai. The cabin crew were very kind and helpful. I'm looking forward to flying back to Algiers aboard Emirates and experiencing First Class, and I'm ever so grateful for the warm welcome by all of the teams."

Earlier Monday, the airline announced that Geneva, Tokyo Haneda, and Brussels will be the first destinations to which Emirates will deploy its refurbished Boeing 777s. These come with the Dubai airline's signature Premium Economy—and for the first time, Emirates 'next-generation Business Class seats in a new 1-2-1 configuration. The flights will launch on August 11.

The airline said 81 Boeing 777s will be refurbished as part of Emirates' retrofit program, and more destinations will be announced over the next few months. The airline has earmarked 191 aircraft for a full-scale revamp as 'part of the largest known retrofit program in the industry', which entails an investment of over $3 billion.