NEW YORK, Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Emirates, one of the world's fastest growing airlines, unveiled major new expansion plans for the United States today, announcing new services to Seattle and Dallas/Fort Worth as well as enhancements to its premium customer experience at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).
Dallas/Fort Worth and Seattle-Tacoma International Airports will both be served by daily, non-stop flights from 2nd February and 1st March 2012 respectively.
"These new services emphasise Emirates' confidence in, and long-term commitment to, the United States," said 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."
"Our latest expansion also serves as a powerful indicator of how Emirates continues to invest in products and services even during difficult economic climates," continued Mr. Clark. "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."
Passengers flying Emirates from Seattle and Dallas/Fort Worth will be able to connect seamlessly to points across the Far and Middle East, Indian sub-continent and Africa via the airline's hub in Dubai.
Emirates' Seattle route will help to further strengthen the airline's links with Boeing. Only 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 planes worth $4 trillion by 2030.
Already the largest operator of Boeing 777 aircraft in the world, Emirates last year ordered an additional 30 777-300ERs, bringing its total 777 passenger fleet commitments to 132 aircraft.
"Emirates is not only the world's largest international carrier - it serves as a gateway to an important part of the world," said Bill Bryant, Port of Seattle Commission President. "This direct service connects Seattle to a new region, creating jobs and tourism opportunities for our state."
The Seattle metropolitan area produced US$ 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 USD in 2009. During the same year, Texan exports to the U.A.E. reached over $1.7 billion - representing export growth of more than 192 per cent since 2002.
Emirates' 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; headed for markets including the United Arab Emirates, China, Japan, India and Hong Kong.
Commodities piped 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," said Jeffrey P. 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."
In addition to the new 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," said Jim Baxter, Vice President of North America.
Located in the International Terminal's Boarding Area "A," the new Emirates Lounge will be a two-level haven for First and Business class passengers comprised of more than 9,500 square feet.
"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," said SFO Airport Director John L. Martin.
All Emirates Lounges feature a business centre with individual work stations and 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 and beverages round-the-clock featuring both hot and cold dishes. The dining area also offers a full bar service, including champagne.
Starting 2nd February 2012, EK 221 will leave Dubai daily at 0245hrs, arriving at Dallas/Fort Worth at 0905hrs. The return sector, EK 222, leaves Dallas at 1150hrs, arriving at Dubai International Airport at 1220hrs the following day.
From 1st March 2012, EK 229 will leave Dubai daily at 0950hrs and arrive at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) at 1310hrs. EK 230 will depart Seattle at 1710hrs, arriving in Dubai at 1940hrs the following day.
Both services will be operated by Boeing 777 aircraft offering the highest standards of passenger comfort, with luxurious private suites in First Class, lie-flat beds in Business Class and generously-sized Economy Class seats.
Passengers in all classes can lose themselves in the much-enjoyed ICE entertainment system. There are more than 1,200 channels of on-demand entertainment to choose from, including 200 movies from around the world, 100 TV channels, more than 500 audio channels, 100 video games and news, sports and business headlines.
Customers can also look forward to gourmet food in all cabins and seamless transfers to a global network of over 100 destinations through Emirates' state-of-the-art Terminal 3 hub in Dubai.
With a fleet of 157 aircraft and now also the largest A380 operator in the world, Emirates currently flies to 114 destinations in 67 countries.
Services to Basra, Geneva and Copenhagen have already started this year. Flights to St Petersburg begin on 1st November, with Baghdad following suit as of 13th November. Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires become new links into South America from 3rd January 2012. On February 1st 2012, Emirates will launch its 20th and 21st destinations in Africa, with a five times weekly linked service to Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Athanasia Sfikas, Hill & Knowlton
Tel: (212) 885-0415, Mob: (212) 920-7862;
SOURCE Emirates Airline