New Emirates A380 service offers taste of French Riviera high life.
The French Riviera has long been associated with glamour and gained world renown when it became the go-to destination for the 1960s jet-set such as the film star Brigitte Bardot, who has a home there.
And now visitors from the UAE can experience a taste of the high life as Emirates announced on Thursday the launch of a daily A380 service to Nice. The city is the gateway to beach resorts on the Côte d’Azur, the other name for the French Riviera, such as Saint-Tropez and Cannes, and the independent microstate of Monaco, home to the glitziest European Formula 1 Grand Prix race of the season.
Although the F1 race takes place before the new service starts, for those travelling to Monaco for non-F1-related reasons Emirates also gives passengers a chance to really arrive in style in the city-state beloved of the rich and famous – by helicopter.
To provide that authentic superstar experience, Emirates is working with Monacair to offer helicopter transfers between Nice Airport and Monaco, including a limousine service from Monaco’s heliport to their final destination. The service will be complimentary to first-class passengers, €79 (about Dh312) per passenger for business class and €109 per passenger for economy class. The new A380 service is in addition to a daily Boeing 777-300ER flight to and from the city. The A380 flights will start on July 1, just in time for the beginning of the summer holiday season. After Paris, Nice becomes Emirates’ second destination in France to welcome the famously huge double-decker jetliner, further stimulating demand for travel to the region.
The deployment of an A380 represents a capacity increase of 44 per cent on the route, Emirates said. With 3,633 weekly seats in each direction, Emirates will offer more seats to the Middle East and beyond than any other international airline, it said, highlighting Nice’s importance as part of the airline‘s global network. Enabling an increase in passenger numbers will also result in additional tourism revenues for Nice and the wider region, which in turn will mean boosting the local economy and job creation, the carrier added.
“Emirates started flying to Nice on 15th July 1994, almost 23 years ago. Since then, almost two million passengers have travelled with us on the route, with over 200,000 last year alone. We’re excited to see the city join the other 46 destinations Emirates currently serves with the A380 and look forward to being the first airline to fly this iconic aircraft to Nice,” said Thierry Antinori, Emirates’ executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “We expect the A380 service to further grow the number of leisure and business travellers that visit the south of France throughout the year.”
As of July 1, the A380 EK77 flight will leave Dubai at 08.45hrs and arriving in Nice at 13.40hrs, while EK78 will depart Nice at 15.40hrs and arrive in Dubai at 00.10hrs the next day (all local times). “I am thrilled to welcome the A380, a prestigious and iconic aircraft,” said Dominique Thillaud, the president of Côte d’Azur Airports. Nice will be the only city in France, other than Paris, to boast a scheduled A380 service. The team at Nice Cote d’Azur Airport worked tirelessly to ensure a smooth arrival, from runway optimisation to boarding bridge modernisation. Emirates’ decision to upgrade its daily service to Nice confirms the appeal of our region, important enough to sustain a year-round long-haul flight,“ commented Dominique Thillaud the president of Cote D’Azur Airports.