Dubai carrier Emirates has announced the launch of a new fifth freedom route to Newark Liberty International Airport near New York via Athens.
The airline said the service is being introduced following an approach from the Greek government and Athens International Airport.
Flights will begin on March 12.
A year-round non-stop daily service between the US and Greece has not operated since 2012, according to the airline, but it may frustrate US carriers as Emirates already flies four times a day to New York’s JFK airport, including once via Milan.
Delta and its US peers United and American have accused Gulf carriers Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways of receiving billions of dollars of subsidies but received little sympathy from Washington under the administration of former President Barack Obama.
They hope that the accusations, which the Gulf carrier’s deny, will be taken more seriously under the more protectionist stance of President Donald trump.
“After careful review, Emirates concluded that extending one of our Dubai-Athens flights to Newark would be commercially and operationally feasible,” said Emirates president Sir Tim Clark.
“We are pleased to be able to help meet a strong consumer need long neglected by other airlines, and we would like to thank the authorities and our partners in both the US and Greece for their support of the new route.”
The route will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER with eight first class, 42 business class and 304 economy class seats, as well as 19 tonnes of cargo capacity.
Flight EK209 will leave Dubai at 10:50am and arrive in Athens at 2:25pm before departing at 4:40pm and arriving in Newark at 10pm.
Return journey EK210 will leave Newark at 11:45pm and arrive in Athens at 3:05pm the next day before departing Athens at 5:10pm and arriving in Dubai 23:50pm.
“I would like to thank Emirates for having positively considered our request to launch a new Emirates itinerary connecting Dubai with New York via Athens all year round. This strategic choice substantially supports our efforts at the Ministry of Tourism to enhance the already increasing flow of visitors to Greece from the United States and the UAE on a yearly basis, travelling either for leisure or business purposes,” said Elena Kountoura, minister of tourism of the Hellenic Republic
Emirates’ other fifth freedom routes, the term for services between two foreign countries, include Singapore to Melbourne and Milan to New York.