It was all smiles for many Ghanaians on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 as Emirates A380 aircraft made a historic touch down at Kotoka International Airport’s Terminal 3, as a one-off service to the new terminal 3 put up by ex-president John Mahama.
The joy was the more intense as the Emirates A380 flight was operated by Ghanaian-born Capt. Solomon Quainoo, and UAE national First Officer, Faisal Alhammadi.
Quainoo was something of a celebrity in Ghanaian eyes as the one-off A380 flight EK787 from Dubai, stayed on the ground for more than six hours before departing at 17:50 hours to Dubai as flight EK788.
The Emirates Airbus A380 can take over 500 passengers and comprises of multiple classes. It is set in a three-class configuration, with 426 seats in Economy Class on the main deck, 76 flat-bed seats in Business Class and 14 First Class Private Suites on the upper deck.
Upon landing at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, the aircraft was met with a ceremonial water cannon salute, and the Emirates delegation was welcomed by government officials and airport executives.
Government officials, VIPs, media and members of the travel industry were given a guided tour of the A380 by Emirates cabin crew.
Orhan Abbas, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Africa said: “We are honoured to bring our flagship A380 to the impressive new terminal at Kotoka International Airport, as it demonstrates its full capabilities with the handling of the first A380 aircraft. Accra is an important destination in Africa and we remain committed to providing our customers in Ghana with the world-class services we are known for. The Emirates A380 has been at the centre of innovation, and bringing this popular aircraft to Accra is a significant milestone in our operations to Ghana, where we will soon celebrate 15 successful years. We thank the Ghanaian government, the Ministry of Aviation and the government authorities whose support has been instrumental in making today’s one-off service a success.”
Emirates commenced operations to Ghana in January 2004 and flies to Accra daily from Dubai. Close to 1.6 million passengers have flown the Dubai – Accra route since its start, with popular destinations being China, India and the United Kingdom via its Dubai hub.
The A380 flight, operating as EK 787, was joined by a top-level delegation led by Orhan Abbas, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations – Africa; Ahmed Ramadan, Ambassador of Ghana to the UAE; Simon Atieku, Vice Council of Ghana (Dubai & N.E) – Consulate General of Ghana; Akwasi Abayie Adomako – Minister – Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission Ghana, Hesham Abdulla Qassim Al Qassim – CEO – Wasl Group & Vice Chairman – ENBD, Vinay Malhotra – Chief Operating Officer, VFS, Lt. Col. Ibrahim Hamad Ibrahim Abdalla Al Maazmi – Dept. of Naturalisation & Residency Dubai, Majed Sultan Murad Ali Al Joker – Executive Vice President Corporate Affairs, Dubai Airports.