Emirates marks 30 years of operations in France

Emirates is celebrating 30 years of services in France.

Image: Emirates Airlines

The Emirati airline has carried more than 11 million passengers via the Paris-Dubai route since its inaugural flight in July 1992. Next December, the airline will celebrate its 10 years of service to Lyon. Over the past three decades, the company's innovative services and high product standards have constantly enhanced the flight experience of French travellers and visitors, while supporting regional economies.

Emirate’s story in France began on 3 July 1992 when the first direct commercial flight, operated by an Airbus A310, landed at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). The Dubai-based airline has since flown over 11 million passengers to Paris with a bettered experience each time. The company currently operates 33 weekly flights to and from France, including three daily flights from Paris-CDG with two A380 rotations, five weekly flights from Lyon and one daily flight from Nice. Its fleet also includes Boeing 777-300ERs.

Over the past thirty years, Emirates has improved the flight experience on its French routes with modern, efficient, and comfortable aircraft, innovative products, world-renowned services with a diverse staff, and a network of more than 130 destinations via its international hub in Dubai.

Customers departing from France have been able to experience the Emirates “Fly Better” concept connecting all continents. More than 660,000 French nationals and residents are enrolled in Emirates Skywards, the award-winning loyalty programme from Emirates and Flydubai.

According to Cédric Renard, managing director of Emirates France, the first Emirates flight in the City of Light was a unique experience and a milestone in the airline’s development and expansion strategy. France is a key destination in the airline’s network.

For Marc Houalla, director of Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport within Groupe ADP, due to its dynamism and the strength of its network, Emirates is one of the main client-partners of the group. It contributes “to the influence and connectivity of our airport, both to the United Arab Emirates and to the rest of the world ".

A key economic player

Over the past 10 years, the Emirates SkyCargo airfreight division has transported over 200,000 tonnes of cargo to and from France. Products exported through this service are wine, cheese, perfume, clothing, but also aircraft parts, medical equipment, and electronic products.

Emirates' services to Paris, Lyon and Nice have thus played a vital role in the growth of the trade, tourism, and business sectors. To date, the airline is the largest client of Airbus A380s, with a fleet of 118 aircraft. Emirates' A350 and A380 purchases support thousands of jobs at Airbus and its French suppliers.

The company is also a major buyer of Michelin tyres, Sicma Aero seats from Zodiac Aerospace and Thales avionics equipment.

France is also Emirates' top source market for wine sourcing. 58% of the red wine consumed in First Class and Business Class comes from the Bordeaux region. Emirates has its own wine cellar. Located in Burgundy, it houses 6.8 million bottles. The company is also the world's largest buyer of Dom Pérignon, which has been on the First-Class wine list for almost three decades.

Emirates' extensive sponsorship portfolio covers a large spectrum. During the past decades, the company has supported local and brought people together around common passions. Emirates is the official airline and Premium Partner of Roland-Garros until 2027 and the official main sponsor of Olympique Lyonnais until 2025. In the Côte d'Azur region, Emirates is a partner of the Formula 1 Grand Prix at Le Castellet until 2023 and sponsor of the Tour de France.

Renard concluded: “Emirates is committed to growing this relationship in the years to come".


Anuradha Deenapanray

Anuradha Deenapanray

Anuradha is a francophone editor for African and Arabian Aerospace magazines.