Emirates has as commenced a daily nonstop passenger service to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
On-board the inaugural flight was a joint VIP delegation from the US and Dubai as well as international media.
The inaugural flight carried passengers from more than 20 different countries to Chicago, demonstrating just how Emirates connects people across the globe.
“The Chicago route extends our passenger network to America’s third-largest city and complements our existing dedicated freighter service that operates to O’Hare,” said Adel Al Redha, Emirates chief operations officer.
“The launch of this route, will allow us to offer Emirates’ unique product and award-winning service to passengers flying to and from the Midwest to our home in Dubai or onwards to more than 140 global destinations including the Far East, Africa and India.”
“Launching Chicago-Dubai nonstop passenger service is another important step in establishing Chicago as one of the top tourism destinations in the world and achieving our goal of hosting 55 million visitors by 2020,” said Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“Increased connectivity with Dubai will expose more international guests to the world-class hospitality, shopping districts, cultural attractions and architectural achievements that make Chicago one of the greatest cities in the world.”
The Chicago flag is waved from the window of a Boeing 777-200LR as the airline celebrates its inaugural flight into O’Hare International Airport
The new service will operate as flight EK235, departing from Dubai International airport at 09:45 and arriving at O’Hare at 15:25.
The return flight, EK236, will depart O’Hare at 20:35 and arrive in Dubai at 19:10 the next day.
The route will be served by the US-built Boeing 777-200LR aircraft powered by GE90 engines.
In addition to passenger service, the Chicago-Dubai flight will carry up to 17 tons of cargo per flight and increase trade links between the two cities.
Emirates began operating cargo service to Chicago in 2013.
Currently, Emirates SkyCargo flies a twice-weekly, dedicated freight service out of O’Hare that carried nearly 12,000 tons of cargo last year.
Emirates began passenger services to the US in 2004 with services to New York.
The airline has steadily added more US routes over the past decade.
Chicago is the ninth US gateway to join the Emirates network, following the launch of the Boston service in March.