Emirates Adds New U.S. Flights Amid Subsidy Concerns

Mar 30, 2015

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Earlier this week Emirates announced that it will be adding a second daily flight to Seattle, while also adding Orlando as its tenth American destination. The rapidly expanding Middle Eastern carrier has recently been scrutinized by American carriers Delta and American, both of which allege that Emirates has received unfair subsidies from the UAE government, causing American carriers to become uncompetitive in certain parts of the world.

At the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s annual aviation summit earlier this month, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker noted that the unfair competition posed by Gulf carriers like Emirates is a threat to American jobs and the U.S. economy. United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek reaffirmed Parker’s concerns, telling reporters at the conference, “We’re not competing against airlines. We’re competing against the treasuries of Gulf nations, and that’s an impossible task.”

Because Persian Gulf carriers can continue to flood international routes to the United States without having to “worry about a bottom line,” he said, U.S. carriers would be forced to drop routes and cancel plans for expansion, resulting in lost jobs and revenue. Emirates CEO Tim Clark has refuted such statements, and plans to issue a “line-by-line” response (with no timeline given).

Regardless of what side you’re on in this battle, U.S. passengers are undeniably reaping the benefits. International fares have plummeted on certain routes, while other U.S. cities now have new one-stop options to exotic destinations. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the benefits of the new U.S. service on Emirates.

Emirates Seattle
Emirates will operate two daily flights from Seattle.


Emirates Adds New Daily Flight to/from Seattle

The addition of a second daily flight to/from Seattle looks to be a shrewd move on Emirates‘ part. Not only is Delta the largest international carrier in Seattle, but also Boeing is headquartered right down the road. With the inclusion of the new morning flight, Seattleites will be able to connect to Emirates’ afternoon flight bank in Dubai which offers connections to destinations in India, the Middle East, and Africa, all while cutting down on travel time.

Seattle’s largest carrier Alaska Airlines has also partnered with Emirates to provide seamless connections and mileage earning opportunities. Take a look a the Alaska—Emirates agreement to learn more about earning Mileage Plan miles while flying Emirates. Business class award opportunities are also abundant on the SEA-DXB route. If you haven’t already, read about how to save upwards of $8,500 on round-trip Emirates business class fares by buying Alaska Airlines miles, but note that this promo ends on April 3rd.

Emirates flights can be booked using Alaska miles
Emirates flights can be booked using Alaska miles.

Emirates Adds New Daily Flight to Orlando

For the first time in over a decade, Orlando will once again have non-stop scheduled air service to the Middle East. Thanks to Emirates, Floridians will now have access to the airline’s vast global network and more one-stop connections to exotic destinations. This flight also marks the tenth U.S. destination for Emirates, and will bring the total weekly U.S. flight count for the airline up to 98. Additionally, if you’re interested in gaining Emirates elite status, but have yet to give the airline a try, you may be able to request a status match if you hold status on another airline.

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