Emirates announced today that they’ll be launching daily service between Dubai and Chicago as of August 5, 2014.
This will be Emirates’ ninth US destination, after Boston, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington.
The new service will be operated by a three cabin 777-200LR, featuring first, business, and economy class. The 777-200LR features eight fully enclosed suites, 42 angled flat business class seats, and 216 economy class seats.
The flight will operate with the following schedule:
EK235 Dubai to Chicago departing 9:45AM arriving 3:25PM
EK236 Chicago to Dubai departing 8:35PM arriving 7:10PM (+1 day)
Among the three big Middle Eastern carriers Emirates is usually the leader when it comes to new destinations, though interestingly they’re the last of the three carriers to fly to Chicago — Etihad and Qatar already have nonstop service to Chicago from their hubs. Heck, even Royal Jordanian flies to Chicago.
Anyway, I doubt I’ll be taking the flight anytime soon. While I do love redeeming Alaska Mileage Plan miles for travel on Emirates, I’ll do whatever I can to get on their A380 service out of New York or Los Angeles, given the onboard shower and bar, which is half of the fun of the Emirates experience, in my experience.
That being said, theoretically the more routes they have, the more award space there will be, so that’s always good news.
While the new Chicago flight is now for sale, it appears as if Emirates has only loaded economy award availability so far. Every single date has at least nine economy class award seats, though I don’t see a single date with first or business class award space. I’m sure they’ll get around to loading space eventually.
Admittedly Emirates isn’t quite as generous as they used to be with releasing first class award space, though availability is still quite good last minute.