Emirates, a world leader in airline luxury since its founding in 1985, confirmed today that it will launch its first passenger service from North America to the Middle East on June 1. The airline also provided the American news media with an exclusive peek at a first in commercial air travel: its fully enclosed $175,000 First Class Suite.
The new daily non-stop A340-500 service from New York (JFK) to Dubai (U.A.E.) was announced today by Ghaith al Ghaith, Emirates’ Executive Vice President Commercial Operations Worldwide, during a media briefing here. It will connect America’s largest city and number one inbound market for overseas visitors with Dubai, which ranks among the world’s fastest-growing commercial hubs.
The service will introduce unprecedented in-flight comforts in all cabin classes and provide greatly improved connections for travelers from North America to the Gulf region, Africa, the Indian sub-continent and Asia Pacific.
Operating out of the ultra-modern Terminal 4 at JFK, the daily EK202 outbound flight will depart at 11:30 pm and arrive in Dubai at 10:30 pm the next day. The return flight EK 201 will depart Dubai at 8:00 am every morning and land at JFK at 2:00 pm the same day.
The service will enable passengers from New York to connect in Dubai to points east and south of the Gulf. On some itineraries, layover and overall flying times could be shortened, and that’s just one benefit. Travelers will discover that Dubai’s open skies offer them dozens of airlines to choose from - a luxury seldom seen in other major hubs, which tend to be dominated by a handful of carriers.
Great diversity and sophistication in the American market is an opportunity for which Emirates, which serves 75 destinations in 52 countries, feels uniquely prepared.
“Emirates’ character and global vision is not unlike that of the United States, with its rich history of cultural diversity and cooperation,” commented Ghaith.
“More than 50 nationalities are represented among our 1,000 pilots and nearly 5,000 cabin crew. We believe that this commitment to being truly global puts us in sync with customers from practically anywhere, and will resonate with the American traveller.”
The airline’s New York-Dubai route marks only the beginning of its passenger service in the Americas. Emirates plans to expand in the near future to other gateways in the United States, Canada and South America.
Nigel Page, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Commercial Operations, The Americas noted: “The demand numbers already exist for a rapid succession of other gateway openings throughout North America.
“This is the first time that Emirates will have a direct passenger link between the New World and Dubai, but off-line sales to American travelers connecting onto Emirates flights at overseas gateways have increased every year since 1992, when we first opened an office right here in New York.”
He added: “Just in the 12 months through the end of February, the number of travelers from the U.S. who arrived in Dubai on Emirates flights increased by 61 per cent in First Class, 47 per cent in Business and 31 per cent in Economy.”
Emirates’ A340-500 in-flight experience alone is certain to catapult the airline into the ranks of major carriers serving the Middle East and beyond. The airline flew in a complete First Class Suite for a demonstration, thus allowing a glimpse of just one of the many new creature comforts in store for American travellers.
The aircraft’s amenities include 12 fully enclosed First Class suites with flat beds and sliding doors that can be opened or closed at will for privacy.
Other features include quieter cabins, revolutionary lighting to help reset body clocks and minimize jetlag, the world’s most advanced in-flight entertainment, with 500-plus channels, and Room Service, an Emirates first. Customers phone the galley to order meals, served at their seat at the time of their choice.
Inside the aircraft, the quietest in service, noise-cancelling headsets will help them enjoy the huge variety of in-flight programs, from classic films to opera.
Business Class seats are laid out 2-2-2, putting everyone beside either an aisle or window, and adjust at the touch of a button. Emirates Economy also has been redesigned to make cabins quieter and more restful, with wider, more comfortable 2-4-2 seats and nine-inch personal video screens—larger than in almost every other Economy class. The aircraft can carry 12 First, 42 Business and 204 Economy customers, a total of 258 people, and some 14 tonnes of airfreight.