“Stockholm is an important city for Emirates,” the airline’s Senior Vice-President Hubert Frach said in a company statement.
“It is a centre for trade, industry and service in Scandinavia. With the annual growth of 3.5 percent which Stockholm is expected to have in the coming years, it is of crucial importance for Emirates to be on site.”
The inaugural flight was welcomed to Arlanda Airport by Ewa Björling, who was one of the party of Swedish ministers assigned to bid farewell to departing US president Barack Obama on Thursday.
“It is a great pleasure and honour to be here and inaugurate the first direct flight between Stockholm and Dubai with Emirates. This route will have significant importance for our bilateral trade and our cultural exchange,” Björling said.
Torborg Chetkovich, CEO of airport operator Swedavia, pointed out that trips between Stockholm and Dubai have increased by around 600 percent over the past ten years.
“We see huge opportunities for both trade and leisure travel,” he said.
The route will be plied by a Boeing 777 and the airline will operate a daily service.
Intercontinental routes from Stockholm are set to receive a further boost following the announcement by Norwegian this week that it plans to open new routes to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orlanda in the spring 2014.
The airline has also previously announced the opening of a route from Stockholm to Fort Lauderdale in November.