Emirates is connecting global business and leisure travellers with its first-ever passenger service between Dubai and Miami.

The airline celebrated the inaugural flight of its four times a week service when it touched down in Miami at 11:00 local time on Saturday.

Emirates flight EK213 was welcomed by Miami International Airport with a water cannon salute, and drew in an audience of passengers, aviation fans and guests.

The airline will operate its three-class Boeing 777-300ER on the route, featuring eight private suites in first class, 42 lie flat seats in business class and 304 spacious seats in economy.

Along with Orlando, the new service to Miami provides an additional access point to and from Florida and expands Emirates’ United States network to 12 destinations on over 70 weekly flight.

“We are excited to welcome new Emirates flights to MIA as we expand business and leisure traveling options for Miami-Dade residents and visitors, connecting them with new cultures and growing economies,” said Miami-Dade mayor, Daniella Levine Cava.

“Opening our doors to new visitors from Dubai and adding to our growing list of worldwide destinations continues to consolidate MIA as a global travel hub.”

With the addition of Miami, Emirates now serves 12 gateways in the United States including Boston, Chicago, New York (JFK and Newark), Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC and Orlando.

Essa Sulaiman Ahmed, Emirates divisional vice president, USA and Canada, said: “We are thrilled to start our long-anticipated service between Dubai and Miami for travellers.

“We expect that the service will be popular with our customers who are seeking new experiences as countries like the UAE and US advance their vaccination drives and the world safely opens up for international travel.”