Dubai-based Emirates Airline plans to launch second daily flights to Los Angeles and Houston this fall.
The airline, which says it recorded a significant increase in revenue for the Americas in 2009-10, will soon offer more than 15,000 seats on 98 round-trip flights each week between Dubai and the U.S.
Starting October 31 for Los Angeles and November 1 for Houston, Emirates will fly non-stop to both cities twice a day on Boeing 777-200LRs. The services will provide luxurious private suites in First Class, lie-flat seats in Business Class and generously sized Economy Class seats.
“Emirates has experienced very strong demand across all of its U.S. gateways this year, including very healthy premium and business traffic. We are delighted to meet this increased demand with the start of second daily services to both Houston and Los Angeles,” says Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline.
“The additional services will provide customers in the Middle East and Asia with even easier access to the largest cities in Texas and California, supporting the burgeoning business and leisure traffic between these markets and the United States,” adds Clark.
Emirates’ services play a significant role in supporting trade and tourism between the United Arab Emirates and America. Since the airline launched its first flight to New York in 2004, the value of trade between the two nations has almost tripled, reaching $12.7 billion in the 12 months to June 2010.
The airline says its additional flights will provide further impetus to the U.A.E.’s strengthening trade relationship with the States, which saw U.S. exports reach $11.4 billion this year – making the U.A.E. the largest consumer of American exports in the Middle East and North Africa.
Key imports from the United States include machinery, computers and electronic products, primary-metal manufacturing, chemicals and transport equipment.
Last month, Emirates ordered 30 Boeing 777-300ERs and placed a $2.0 billion order for U.S.-manufactured General Electric GE90-115B Engines to power the US-built aircraft, which will add to the fleet of 65 777-300ERs and 777-200LRs which Emirates currently has in service.
More than 750 U.S. firms have set up offices in Dubai and 400,000 American business and leisure travelers visited the Emirate last year, a 23 per cent increase from 2007-08.
Home of the United States’ second largest exporter, Texas is a strategically important trade hub and a key centre of the nation’s oil industry. In 2009, Texan exports to the U.A.E. reached over $1.7 billion – an amount that represented export growth of over 192 per cent since 2002.
The second largest city in the U.S., Los Angeles is the capital of the film industry and an important center for culture and international trade. Other significant industries in LA include aerospace, agriculture, petroleum and tourism. California is the third largest U.S. exporter to the U.A.E. Exports from California totaled US$1.2 billion in 2009 – an increase of 338 per cent since 2002.
Emirates flies nonstop to Dubai from four U.S. cities: New York, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The airline will reinstate use of its flagship A380s on one of its double-daily JFK services from October 31.
It was the first carrier to launch non-stop operations from Dubai to both Houston (launching service on December 3, 2007) and Los Angeles, service to which began on October 26, 2008.
The additional U.S. services come during a busy summer for the airline. Aside from its Boeing 777-300ER order, FIFA World Cup sponsorship and new-destination launches, Emirates further expanded its fleet with an order for 32 additional A380s at the Berlin Air Show in June. This order, valued at $11.5 billion, adds to the 58 A380 aircraft previously ordered, 11 of which are currently in service.
Emirates currently serves 104 cities around the globe with a young and technologically advanced fleet of 149 widebody aircraft. Additionally, Emirates has 175 widebody aircraft on order, valued at more than $50 billion, and it is by far the leading customer for the Airbus A380 with 11 in its fleet and 79 more on order.