Emirates made a landmark touchdown in Montréal, marking the start of its scheduled services to its second gateway in Canada. The inaugural flight was operated with a Boeing 777 aircraft, which will offer premium passenger services on its daily services to the city. Emirates now serves Canada with 14 flights per week.
Emirates executives onboard included: Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer; Salem Obaidalla, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations - Americas; and David Broz, Vice President Aeropolitical and Industry Affairs.
Flight EK243 arrived at Montréal Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport at 0830hrs local time on 5 July and was greeted with a procession of follow-me vehicles to the gate. Airport officials and representatives from the aviation authorities were present to witness the touchdown, which also drew interest from aviation fans and media excited to capture the inaugural flight’s landing in Québec.
On arrival, the VIP delegation travelling from Dubai were welcomed by Essa Sulaiman Ahmad, Emirates’ Divisional Vice President – USA and Canada and Shaz Peshimam, Emirates’ Country Manager for Canada.
Following a welcome ceremony and symbolic gift exchange between the airline, airport officials, and Montréal’s tourism board, Emirates showcased its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in a three-class configuration to government representatives, media, guests and members of the travel trade industry. The aircraft features eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie flat seats in Business Class and 304 spacious seats in Economy Class for the daily service.
Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer emphasised the significance of the new destination and said: "Emirates is excited to launch our service to Montréal, and to grow our network with a second gateway into Canada. We take this opportunity to thank the UAE and Canadian authorities and partners for supporting the launch of the service, which is expected to positively impact tourism, business and trade in both countries.
"Complementing our services to Toronto, customers will now have more choice when planning trips to Canada – they now can fly directly to the country’s second largest metropolis whether for business, leisure, education or for visiting family and friends. Since we announced our plans to launch direct services to Montréal, we have witnessed healthy bookings from travellers planning trips to Canada from points in the UAE, India, Iran and Lebanon in addition to many Far East and African countries. The strong demand is testament to the quality of our product and travel experience we provide. We look forward to welcoming our customers onboard to experience our "fly better" proposition across all classes."
On the commencement of Emirates’ services to Montréal, Philippe Rainville - President and Chief Executive Officer of ADM Aéroports de Montréal said: "ADM Aéroports de Montréal is delighted to welcome one of the world's most prestigious airlines to YUL for the first time. This is an exceptional opportunity for our passengers to live the Emirates experience on a flight that will take them nonstop to the majestic city of Dubai. For an international airport like ours, this is particularly exciting news, especially since this route will offer arrivals and departures at less busy times of the day. It’s very much in line with ADM's goal of offering more connections to popular destinations outside of peak travel times. We are very privileged that Emirates has chosen YUL as the second Canadian airport for its operations in the country."
Emirates’ flights to and from Montréal operate as EK243 and EK244. The daily flight departs Dubai International airport at 02:30hrs, arriving in Montréal at 08:00hrs local time. The return flight departs Montréal Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport at 10:20hrs, arriving in Dubai at 06:30hrs (local time) the next day.
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 from Canada convenient access to Dubai, as well as connectivity to popular destinations such as Lebanon, India, Iran, Vietnam and Malaysia.
Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal added: ‘’This new direct flight is an important step in the expansion of our air network and reinforces our position as a leading tourist destination. It opens up countless opportunities for both leisure and business travellers. Thank you to Emirates for making Montréal more accessible than ever to travellers from all over the world wishing to discover Montréal’s rich culture, diverse gastronomy and vibrant festivals. Welcome to Montréal!"
Expanding network and Air Canada partnership
Customers of Emirates and Air Canada have access to an expansive network of destinations thanks to the strategic partnership between the two airlines. In addition to over 130 destinations that Emirates flies to, through their codeshare relationship, its customers currently can access 19 Canadian destinations beyond Toronto, while Air Canada customers are able to access 17 cities in Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Far East beyond Dubai. Additionally, Emirates passengers are able to choose from over 140 routes operated by Air Canada on an interline basis, including 27 points in Canada beyond Montréal and 53 routes between Montréal and the US and South America, while also enjoying the simplicity of flight itineraries on a single-ticket.
Emirates Skywards members can earn Miles on all eligible Air Canada flights and can redeem Miles for reward tickets across Air Canada’s network.
Fly Better with inflight and on the ground services
At Dubai International airport, Emirates has a range of lounges available for its premium class customers and select Skywards members, to enjoy before their flights in Dubai. Chauffeur drive services to and from the airport are also available to First Class and Business Class customers in both Dubai and Montréal.
Extending its fly better promise, customers flying with Emirates can enjoy superior levels of comfort onboard, indulge regionally-inspired dining and world-class entertainment aboard its widebody fleet of aircraft. Customers on flights between Dubai to Montréal can get a taste of Canadian fare for breakfast and enjoy pancakes, garnished with berry or cherry compote, maple syrup and other toppings, or dine on French toast, served with berry compote, maple syrup, apples and more.
Passengers traveling with Emirates have endless entertainment options to choose from. Its award-winning inflight entertainment system, ice, offers up to 6,500 channels of on-demand, multi-language entertainment to suit all ages and interests. Ice features over 2,000 movies, 650 TV shows, and 4,000 hours of music, podcasts, and audiobooks across 40 languages. Passengers are set to enjoy Montréal-themed entertainment before getting there with stand-up comedy specials from Just for Laughs. Music lovers can also enjoy albums from legendary Canadian artists and time will fly with documentaries and biopics that explore the life and work of renowned Canadian musicians including Celine Dion.
Trade between UAE and Canada
The UAE is Canada’s largest export market in the Middle East and North Africa. In 2022, bilateral trade between Canada and the UAE exceeded C$2.6 billion, growing 53% over the last five years. According to Statistics Canada, it is estimated the UAE’s foreign direct investments stock in Canada was valued at C$1.3 billion in 2021.
Canada features in Dubai’s top 20 source markets for inbound tourism with 158,000 Canadian visitors in 2022, more than double the number in 2021 (Source: Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism). More than 40,000 Canadians also live and work in Dubai.
To support the movement of commodities and goods around the world, Emirates provides cargo services to Canada with a capacity to carry 20 tonnes in the bellyhold of its Boeing 777 passenger aircraft and up to 15 tonnes aboard its A380 aircraft.
Vibrant city of Montréal
Montréal is known for its fascinating neighbourhoods celebrating modern city style with a quaint old European feel, making the cultural hub a bucket list destination for locals, students and international travellers. Travellers can explore the famous Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal and visit the various museums nearby to discover how Montréal found its roots. Visits to Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, the Phi Centre, enjoying the street performances, or major festivals, are a must on everyone’ s bucket list.
Travellers can look forward to the shopper’s paradise with chic boutiques and malls along Rue Sainte-Catherine, which are also abundant with street art in the vibrant Plateau Mont-Royal. The destination is a favourite amongst foodies and is known for the culinary delights it has to offer, from the iconic Montréal bagels that rival New York, to low-to-high-end restaurants serving cuisine from around the world. The famous poutine – a classic French-Canadian dish of fries, gravy and cheese curds – is also not to be missed.