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Emirates launches A380 to Washington DC, adds second daily service to Geneva

Emirates launches A380 to Washington DC, adds second daily service to Geneva

Dubai carrier will start A380 services to Washington DC from February 1 and add an extra flight to Geneva from June 1

Dubai carrier Emirates has announced plans to launch an A380 service to Washington DC and add a second daily service to the Swiss city of Geneva.

The expansion comes as the airline faces increased protectionism in the United States and Europe.

Emirates will introduce an A380 service on the Washington DC route from February 1, replacing the current Boeing 777-300 ER. The airline said that the expanded capacity will help serve customer demand and restore route capacity following United Airlines’ withdrawal at the end of this month.

The carrier announced it was discontinuing the route in December after rival, and Emirates codeshare partner, JetBlue won a US government contract for travel between Washington and Dubai.

Dubai-government owned Emirates has been gradually increasing capacity on its US routes even as it remains engaged in a subsidy spat with the big three American airlines.

United, American and Delta have accused Gulf carriers Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways of benefitting from unfair governmental subsidies worth $42bn.

The three airlines have denied the allegations and continued their expansion plans in the country. Emirates recently announced that it would deploy a second A380 service to Los Angeles, citing growing travel demand on the route.

To fend off criticism from the US carriers, Emirates has justified its capacity upgrades by highlighting the positive impact its operations have had on the US economy.

The airline said that it had helped contribute $130m in annual spending by visitors to the US, created 2,787 jobs in the country and added $113m to US employee earnings since the launch of its Dubai-Washington DC route in September 2012.

Overall, Emirates’ current services to 10 US cities contribute $1.9bn in annual spending by visitors to the US and support nearly 40,000 jobs, the airline argued.

In its second announcement today, the carrier also said it would launch a second daily service to Geneva in Switzerland from June 1, 2016. The service is expected to double capacity on the route and will represent a 26 per cent overall increase for Emirates in Switzerland, the airline said.

The route will be operated using a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

“With natural landmarks like Lake Geneva, the Alps and Jura mountains, Geneva is an attractive destination. It also hosts the highest number of international organisations, like Europe’s United Nations and the Red Cross, making it a global hub for diplomacy and banking,” said Emirates’ senior vice president of Commercial Operations for Europe and Russia Thierry Aucoc.

“Demand is strong year-round, with high traffic from Thailand, Australia, Hong Kong and the Indian Ocean, with travellers visiting the city for business and pleasure.

“Aside from more convenience for the growing number of Swiss travellers visiting Dubai, the additional frequency from Geneva will allow us to meet high demand and offer better connectivity for those travelling to countries like Africa, Indian Ocean islands, Bali and Thailand via our ultra-modern hub.”

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