Emirates celebrated two decades of flying to and from Glasgow Airport on Wednesday.

In the 20 years since its inaugural flight on 10th April 2004, Emirates has carried over 5.62 million passengers on 18,990 roundtrip flights to and from Dubai, connecting travellers and businesses in the region with its expansive global network.

To mark the significant 20-year milestone, Emirates flight EK027, served by its iconic A380, arrived at Glasgow Airport’s stand 30, home to Scotland’s only triple airbridge, with a celebration including a Bagpiper.

Emirates operations from Glasgow have made a significant contribution to the local economy, facilitating inbound tourism, creating thousands of jobs, as well as transporting hundreds of tonnes of cargo in the belly hold of its flights every week.

In 2023 alone, Emirates transported over four million kgs of cargo via Glasgow Airport. Goods transported over the years include quintessential Scottish products ranging from barrels of whisky and Scottish salmon through to rarer British cargo like Aston Martins.

Richard Jewsbury, Emirates Divisional Vice President in the UK, commented: “We’re proud to have served Scotland via Glasgow for more than 20 years, connecting millions of passengers and facilitating valuable trade across our global network. We have seen significant growth over the last two decades and forward bookings for this route were up 51% year-on-year in 2024. We’d like to sincerely thank all our stakeholders including the local community, customers, businesses, suppliers, ground handlers, the Scottish Government, local authorities, Glasgow Airport, and travel agents for their unwavering support over the past two decades as we reach this milestone.

“Glasgow remains a key market from both passenger and cargo perspectives and is a hugely popular destination for our passengers around the world. We look forward to continuing to provide our best-in-class services and greater connectivity to Scotland.”

Ronald Leitch, Interim Chief Operations Officer at AGS Airports, said“The Glasgow Dubai service has been a resounding success story for Glasgow and the wider region. It was Scotland’s first route to the Middle East and remains the country’s only direct service to Dubai.

“Both airport and airline have celebrated so many milestones during the last two decades, such as the opening of the stunning Emirates’ lounge in 2014, the first visit of the A380 that same year and then the introduction of the world’s largest passenger aircraft into daily service in 2019 and again last year. Despite being a daily occurrence, the arrival and departure of Scotland’s only A380 service still captures the imagination of passengers, the public and our airport colleagues.

“I remember vividly the first Emirates’ flight coming in to land all those years ago. In the ensuing years, this service has been instrumental in connecting Scotland’s leisure and business travellers through the world’s busiest international airport in Dubai. Equally, the service also plays a significant role in ensuring hundreds of thousands of tonnes of Scotland’s finest goods are exported globally each year.

“To mark 20 years of this hugely important service at Glasgow Airport is a tremendous honour and achievement for Scotland.”

The Senior First Officer operating on the anniversary flight was Paisley-born Lewis Ferguson, 30, who originally worked at Glasgow Airport while training to be a pilot. It was a proud moment for his mum Amanda, who also works for the Emirates team based at Glasgow.

Photograph credits: Glasgow Airport Limited

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *