The FINANCIAL — GRAMMY award-winning musician Ricky Martin performed for an audience of 500 last week to celebrate the launch of Emirates’ new non-stop service from Dubai to Los Angeles.
The world-famous international airline hosted a memorable gala at Hollywood’s legendary Kodak Theatre, one of the last events to be held before the theatre transforms early next year into the permanent venue for Cirque du Soleil. The master of ceremonies was two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank.
Martin, one of this generation’s true musical icons, performed for an audience that included Los Angeles government officials, airport representatives and corporate executives. The evening was held in celebration of Emirates’ Sunday, October 26 inaugural flight into Los Angeles International Airport, marking the start of direct service between Dubai and the U.S. movie capital.
“This soirée reflects the glamour that Hollywood is so famous for and of which we are proud to now be part of,” said Keith Longstaff, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Worldwide. “Los Angeles has welcomed us with open arms and we wanted to reciprocate and show our appreciation to this great city. We look forward to serving Angelenos and their neighbours from across the southwest region of the United States.”
According to Emirates, the evening began with a champagne cocktail reception and appetizer service, where guests had the opportunity to sample food served aboard the luxury airliner. Cocktails were followed by a sit-down, four-course meal, which went through three tasting sessions in preparation for the evening service and was prepared specifically for this event by acclaimed chef and restaurateur Wolfgang Puck.
Hilary Swank addressed the crowd as they took to their seats, noting the new era of cultural connections that are made possible by this new route, and guests were treated to a video presentation on Emirates and its many exotic destinations. Keith Longstaff was introduced, who formally welcomed guests and noted that travellers from Los Angeles and the entire southwest United States are now able to take advantage of Emirates’ hub in Dubai to connect to more than 100 destinations around the world, including India, Lebanon, Pakistan and China.
Following dinner, Spirit of the Dance, a lively dance troupe who have featured at many of Emirates' inaugural galas, captivated the audience with a 45 minute, 12-dance performance. Finally, Ricky Martin took the stage and performed several of his famed hit songs, including “The Cup of Life,” “Livin’ La Vida Loca” and “Maria.”
Emirates flies the Boeing 777-200LR on the new Los Angeles route, offering 266 seats in a three class configuration and providing up to ten tonnes of cargo capacity. The non-stop, long haul flight delivers the highest standards of comfort, as Emirates’ 777-200LR is outfitted with eight luxurious private suites in first class, 42 of its latest lie-flat beds in business class, and generous space for 216 passengers in economy class.
Flights out of Los Angeles are initially offered three times per week – Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays – before increasing to a daily service. The new service operates out of the Tom Bradley Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which handled more than 61 million passengers in 2007.