Dubai-based airline Emirates has announced the start of a daily non-stop service between Orlando and Dubai.
The moves comes following US carrier allegations that the airline, along with Gulf rivals Etihad and Qatar Airways, receives government subsidies.
The non-stop flights are scheduled to begin from September 1, 2015, with a 266 seat Boeing 777-200LR aircraft deployed on the route, the airline said.
Emirates has been expanding its services and route network to the US after registering strong passenger demand.
Orlando is the airline’s tenth destination in the country. It’s other routes include Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington.
“Emirates launching flights to Orlando broadens its US connections and opens up an new passage for flights to Dubai and beyond for passengers flying out of Orlando too,” said Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at Strategic Aero Research.
“With JetBlue, Emirates will be able to offer customers through their partnership an array on onward flight options too.
“JetBlue has a sizeable presence at Orlando and will be able to help connect passengers domestically through the US via JetBlue, offering even more connectivity. There is a good chance that Emirates will up gauge to the bigger 777-300ER once demand becomes robust enough to do so.”
Ahmad added that the freight volumes between the two countries will also see a significant growth through the launch of the new route.
The airline, which has the largest fleet of A380s in the world, has also deployed its superjumbo on a number of routes in the US. Recently, it started A380 services to San Francisco and Dallas.
Emirates has been the most vocal of the Gulf’s three biggest airlines in rebutting subsidy allegations from Delta, United and American Airlines.
President Tim Clark recently said that Emirates will counter all allegations of unfair subsidies levelled at the Gulf carriers by the three major US airlines.
He added that he expected to hear an apology from the US carriers once the clarification on the subsidies was made.