Gulf Carriers Focus On North America

The big 3 Gulf carriers – Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways- have reaffirmed their focus on the North American market. Amid lobbying from rivals American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines against US expansion by the Middle Eastern airlines, all 3 are moving ahead with introducing new destinations and deploying their flagship products.


Emirates: A380 to Washington D.C., Second Daily LA Flight from July 2016

The Dubai-based airline is upgrading its Washington D.C. flights with the introduction of the Airbus A380 from 1 February 2016, as it looks to fill a capacity void left by rival United Airlines, which is withdrawing its flights to the emirate in late January 2016. Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the A380, flying 65 aircraft to destinations around the world including Dallas, Houston, New York (John F. Kennedy), Los Angeles and San Francisco.


From 1 July 2016, the airline will add another daily flight between Dubai and Los Angeles using the Airbus A380 configured with 14 First Class suites, 76 Business and 401 Economy Class seats. The afternoon departure from Dubai will allow Emirates to capture connecting traffic from the region and the Far East, while a late evening takeoff from California will see passengers arrive in time to connect with services to Africa and Asia in Dubai.


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Etihad Airways: Owned Aircraft Replace Leased Jet Airways B777s

Several years back, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad leased a small fleet of Boeing 777-300ERs from India’s Jet Airways to meet its short-term capacity requirements, with the aircraft currently deployed to San Francisco and New York (John F. Kennedy). As it takes delivery of new jets, the airline is progressively replacing the leased aircraft with its own boasting some of the finest cabin products in the skies.


From 25 April 2016, San Francisco will see Etihad’s Boeing 777-200LR configured with 8 First, 40 Business and 191 Economy Class seats deployed on the route. One of 2 daily Abu Dhabi – New York (John F. Kennedy) flights, EY 101/100, will also be flown using Etihad’s Boeing 777-300ER fleet from 01 June 2016, offering 8 First, 40 Business and 280 Economy Class seats available each flight.


Etihad Airways also flies its flagship Airbus A380 double-deck jets to New York (John F. Kennedy), featuring its premier The Residence 3-bedroom suite onboard.


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Qatar Airways: Los Angeles, Atlanta and Boston in 2016, First to Fly A350 to USA

Not to be outdone, Qatar Airways launched its first services to the west coast on the first day of the new year when its inaugural Doha – Los Angeles flight touched down in California. The City of Angels is the first of 3 american destinations to be introduced in 2016, with Boston (16 March 2016) and Atlanta (1 July 2016) to follow.


The Oneworld-member is leveraging on its reputation as the launch customer and operator of the Airbus A350 aircraft, becoming the first (and currently only) airline to fly the advanced composite jet on scheduled service to the USA with its daily Doha – Philadelphia route since the beginning of the year. Configured with 36 Business and 247 Economy Class seats, the aircraft is also planned to fly Qatar Airways’ upcoming Doha – Boston route.


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