Emirates must have known what it is doing with its latest provocation of the major US airlines by launching daily 777-300ER flights between Athens and Newark to serve a market they have neglected for four years.
But it does seem like the largest of the Middle East 3, Emirates, is determined to kick the dormant trio of the US3, American, Delta and United, in the slats just when their jealousy over un-American carriers with generous owners seems likely to be heard and sloganised by the Trump administration.
Emirates already flies the Milan-JFK route daily, taking advantage of a lack of effective performance by Italian and US carriers. Will Athens bear the Dubai giant a gift of similar low hanging fruit from this March?
In both cases Emirates is exercising fifth freedom rights (look it up) which are something US administrations have keenly supported for decades on behalf of American carriers when they saw under done opportunities.
This is part of what Emirates says in its announcement:
Emirates’ new Dubai-Athens-Newark flight will also provide a year-round non-stop daily service between the United States and Greece – a service that does not exist today and has not existed since 2012. The airline will operate a wide-body Boeing 777-300ER powered by General Electric GE90 engines on the route, offering 8 seats in First, 42 seats in Business and 304 seats in Economy class, as well as 19 tonnes of belly-hold cargo capacity.
Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline said: “The Greek Government and Athens International Airport approached Emirates some time ago to consider serving the route between Athens and New York. After careful review, Emirates concluded that extending one of our Dubai-Athens flights to Newark would be commercially and operationally feasible. 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.”
Sir Tim added: “The availability of high quality, daily international air services is essential for the development of business and cultural ties. Trade, especially in high-value and time-sensitive products, will be facilitated by the ample cargo capacity on Emirates’ Boeing 777 aircraft. We also expect tourism to receive a major boost from the availability of daily flights year-round.”