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Emirates to launch second daily A380 flight to Los Angeles from July

Emirates to launch second daily A380 flight to Los Angeles from July

The new service will cater to growing demand on the route, the Dubai carrier said

Dubai airline Emirates has announced plans to launch a second daily A380 service from Dubai to Los Angeles from July 1, 2016 even as it remains embroiled in a subsidy spat with American carriers.

The new service will cater to growing customer demand for travel between Dubai and the western United States, Emirates said in a statement.

It will also serve passengers connecting to Emirates’ network of 150 destinations from Dubai.

The new service will be operated with an Emirates’ Airbus A380-800ULR aircraft in a three-class configuration with 14 private suites in first class, 76 seats in business class and 401 seats in economy class.

Flight EK217 will depart Dubai International Airport at 3:00 pm and arrive at the Los Angeles International Airport at 8:00 pm. The return flight, EK218, will depart Los Angeles at 10:30 pm and arrive in Dubai approximately 16 hours later at 1:30 am.

The new A380 service will supplement the current EK215 Airbus A380-800 flight, which has been operational since 2013. Emirates first started flying to LA in 2008 with a Boeing 777-200LR flight.

“Our existing service provides $677m in annual economic benefit to LA and the surrounding area, contributes over $270m in annual spending by visitors and helps to support nearly 6,000 US jobs,” said Emirates divisional senior vice president for Commercial Operations West Hubert Frach.

“So our additional service to LAX not only doubles our capacity to meet demand, but also increases our positive economic impact to the Los Angeles area.”

Emirates confirmed that fruits and vegetables accounted for the largest portion of its cargo exports out of LA, transported in the belly hold of the airline’s A380 aircraft as well as through two Boeing 777-200F freighters each week.

The vast majority of these exports are transported to Dubai and Kuwait, it said.

Emirates also transports garments, automobiles, machinery, and agricultural cargo from LA to the Middle East, as well as medical equipment to Mumbai, it added in the statement.

“Our new flight will create more choices and shorter connection times for many passengers travelling via Dubai and onwards to Los Angeles and surrounding areas,” said Frach.

“Passengers wishing to travel beyond Los Angeles to nearby destinations in the US can take advantage of our partnerships with Virgin America and Alaska Airlines. For example, through Alaska Airlines, passengers can connect from LAX to cities such as Medford, Mammoth Lakes, Monterey, Portland, and Santa Rosa.”

Emirates, which flies to 10 cities in the US, also launched an ‘Americas Pass’ late last year. It allows passengers to connect to more than 90 cities across America, Canada and Latin America through Emirates’ five partner airlines with one combined ticket. The airline’s partners include Jet Blue, Alaska Airlines, Virgin America, WestJet Airlines and Porter Airlines.

The launch of the new service to LA comes as Emirates and its Gulf peers Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways remain embroiled in a subsidy row with American airlines.

The big three US carriers – United, American and Delta accuse the Gulf carriers of receiving around $42bn in unfair subsidies from their respective governments.

The American airlines have called for the US government to suspend its open skies policy with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

However, the Gulf carriers have denied the allegations and say that their services provide more choice to consumers while also helping the US economy.

Emirates said it has carried more than 11 million passengers on US flights since launching services to New York in 2004.

Emirates SkyCargo also transports up to 650 tonnes of US exports each week – including auto parts from New York, apples and cherries from Seattle, and oil and gas equipment from Houston.

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