Well I did not see this coming – and in launches in little more than six week’s time.
Emirates announced on Monday that on March 12th it will start a new daily flight from Dubai to Newark’s liberty airport via Athens with full traffic rights between Athens and Newark.
There has already been a strong reaction from a lobby group representing U.S. competitors who accuse Emirates of competing unfairly through state subsidies.
One minor problem – Delta and United both fly to Athens but only on a seasonal basis.
Emirates was “flagrantly violating” the air services agreement that allows it to fly to the United States, said the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies, which represents Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) and other U.S. airlines.
The Dubai-Athens-Newark route will be Emirates’ second so-called ‘fifth freedom’ flight to the United States in addition to an existing daily Dubai-Milan-New York service. It also operates three daily direct Dubai-New York flights.
Fifth freedom rights allow an airline to fly between foreign countries as a part of services to and from its home country.
Emirates President Tim Clark said the Greek government approached the airline “some time ago” to start a flight between Athens and New York, according to an airline statement. This has been confirmed by the Greek government and airport authorities.
Emirates flight EK209 will depart Dubai at 10:50 local time, arriving in Athens at 14:25 before departing again at 16:40 and arriving into Newark at 22:00 on the same day. The return flight EK210 will depart Newark at 23:45 local time, arriving in Athens the next day at 15:05. EK210 will depart once again from Athens at 17:10 bound for Dubai where it will arrive at 23:50.
This might be a popular flight with the crews and the 777 drivers!