Emirates is on course to carry a record 5 million passengers between the UK and Dubai in the 2017-18 financial year.

This would represent an increase on the 2016-17 total of 4.92 million.

The projection came as the carrier marked 30 years of operations in the UK.

The top five destinations from the UK in the past 12 months were Dubai, Bangkok, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Singapore.

The airline currently operates double decker Airbus A380s on all six of its daily flights from Heathrow, all three from Gatwick and Manchester and one of its three services from Birmingham. All other flights are operated by Boeing 777s.

The airline’s first Gatwick flight was launched on July 6, 1987 using an Airbus A310 and it carried 87,000 passengers in its first year of UK operations.

Emirates has gone on to fly 18 million passengers on flights between Dubai and Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow since 2004.

The airline has collectively carried nearly 11 million passengers from its London gateway airports since 2012.

UK vice president Laurie Berryman said: “The last 30 years have been an incredible journey for us at Emirates.

“We’ve grown our UK presence to serve more passengers with the latest, most comfortable wide-body aircraft, flying more people and more British exports to more places around the world.

“We are proud to have become an airline that is able to offer 18 daily flights for customers across the UK on modern, high-tech aircraft that passengers love to fly on, including 13 on the iconic A380.

“Customers can fly direct into Dubai – a cultural and business hub – but also connect on to hugely popular destinations like Bangkok and Australia.

“We’re looking forward to the next 30 years, helping passengers explore more of the world, and conversely welcoming inbound tourism to the beautiful UK.”

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