Emirates Airline is launching new services to Seattle and Dallas/Fort Worth and is opening a new premium-passenger lounge at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).
The airline will begin serving Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on February 2 and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on March 1. Emirates will offer daily non-stop flights to both destinations.
“These new services emphasize Emirates’ confidence in, and long-term commitment to, the United States,” says Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline. “With six gateways offering convenient connectivity from points across the country, customers in the US will find it easier than ever to access our vast global network.”
Adds Clark: “Our latest expansion also serves as a powerful indicator of how Emirates continues to invest in products and services even during difficult economic climates. This is because we have always been ahead of the curve in anticipating what is now becoming an accepted truth – that demand for air travel will continue to grow over the long term in spite of the many challenges the industry faces. In making this investment now, Emirates is providing a timely economic boost to the United States whilst ensuring that we are soundly placed to serve America’s future air travel needs.”
Emirates says passengers flying on the airline from Seattle and Dallas/Fort Worth will be able to connect seamlessly to its flights to points across the Far and Middle East, Indian sub-continent and Africa via Emirates’ hub in Dubai.
The airline says its new Seattle route will help to further strengthen its links with Boeing. Earlier this month, Boeing predicted a robust outlook for aircraft manufacturing over the next few decades, estimating that there would be demand for approximately 31,000 commercial aircraft worth $4 trillion by 2030.
Already the largest operator of Boeing 777s in the world, Emirates ordered an additional 30 777-300ERs last year, bringing its total 777 passenger fleet commitments to 132 aircraft.
“Emirates is not only the world’s largest international carrier – it serves as a gateway to an important part of the world,” says Bill Bryant, Port of Seattle Commission president. “This direct service connects Seattle to a new region, creating jobs and tourism opportunities for our state.”
The Seattle metropolitan area produced $24.2 billion in total exports in 2008, according to a Brookings Institution study, with exports to the United Arab Emirates totalling $2.76 billion in 2009. During the same year, exports from Texas to the UAE. reached over $1.7 billion, representing export growth of more than 192 per cent since 2002.
Emirates says its Seattle service will support key exports from Washington State, including software, sound and television equipment, aircraft parts, medical and surgical supplies, video games and foodstuffs. These goods will go to various markets including the United Arab Emirates, China, Japan, India and Hong Kong.
Commodities flown between Dallas/Fort Worth and the UAE include oil and gas industry-related machinery, spares and high-tech equipment. A belly-hold capacity of 15 tonnes on each Emirates flight will help facilitate this trade.
“This monumental announcement from Emirates brings a new and highly valued international airline partner to Dallas/Fort Worth,” says Jeffrey Fegan, CEO of DFW International Airport. “Emirates daily nonstop service between DFW and Dubai connects two global super-hub portals for U.S. travelers to the Far and Middle East, the Indian sub-continent and Africa on a trendsetting airline.”
As well as starting service to two new U.S. gateways, Emirates will also open a new customer lounge at San Francisco International Airport in November.
“Now customers throughout Northern California and beyond can look forward to the unique and award-winning Emirates lounge experience which we offer at gateways throughout our global network,” says Jim Baxter, Emirates’ vice president of North America.
Located in the SFO International Terminal’s Boarding Area “A,” the new Emirates Lounge will be a two-level haven of more than 9,500 square feet for the carrier’s First and Business class passengers.
“We are very pleased that Emirates has selected SFO as the site of its first West Coast lounge, and that the airlines’ service continues to grow as it links the Bay Area, Silicon Valley and San Francisco to Dubai, India and beyond,” says SFO Airport Director John Martin.
All Emirates Lounges feature a business center with individual work stations, complimentary broadband and wireless LAN access. Emirates Airport Services staff manage the lounge at all times, while on-site chefs ensure passengers have a wide selection of food (both hot and cold dishes) and beverages round the clock. The dining area also offers a full bar service, including champagne.
Starting February 2, flight EK221 from Dubai International Airport (DXB) to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) will leave Dubai daily at 2:45 a.m., arriving at DFW at 9:05 a.m. local time. In the other direction, EK222 is timed to depart Dallas at 11:50 a.m. and to touch down at DXB at 12:20 p.m. the following day, local time.
From March 1, EK229 will leave DXB daily at 9:50 a.m. and arrive at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) at 1:10 p.m. local time. On the return leg, flight EK230 is scheduled to push back from the gate at SEA at 5:10 p.m. and to land at DXB at 7:40 p.m. the following day, local time.
Both services will be operated by Boeing 777s offering private suites in First Class, lie-flat beds in Business Class and generously sized Economy Class seats.
Emirates’ ICE entertainment system offers more than 1,200 channels of on-demand entertainment, including 200 movies from around the world, 100 TV channels, more than 500 audio channels, 100 video games and news, sports and business headlines.
With a fleet of 157 aircraft and now also the largest Airbus A380 operator in the world, Emirates currently flies to 114 destinations in 67 countries.
Emirates has already launched service to Basra, Geneva and Copenhagen this year. Flights to St. Petersburg in Russia begin on November 1, with service to Baghdad following suit on November 13.
Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires become new links in South America from January 3. On February 1, Emirates will launch service to its 20th and 21st destinations in Africa, with five-times-weekly linked service to Zambia and Zimbabwe.