Emirates Will Start Flying The A380 Between The US And Europe

In October 2013, Emirates launched service between New York and Dubai via Milan. The awesome thing about the route is that you can fly it exclusively between New York and Milan if you want, since they have pick-up rights.

JFK-MXP-DXB

Of course US and European airlines weren’t a fan of the route, since in many ways Alitalia, American, and Delta can’t compete with Emirates.

Emirates will fly the A380 between New York and Milan

Well, it looks like Emirates is stepping up their game even further. As of June 1, Emirates will fly an Airbus A380 on their New York to Dubai route, which connects in Milan.

EK-A380-MXP

The flight operates with the following schedule:

EK206 New York to Milan departing 10:20PM arriving 12:15PM (+1 day)
EK206 Milan to Dubai departing 2:05PM arriving 10:10PM

EK205 Dubai to Milan departing 9:45AM arriving 2:20PM
EK205 Milan to New York departing 4:10PM arriving 7:00PM

With this addition, Emirates will offer 4x daily A380 service between New York and Dubai, which is insanely impressive.

Emirates-A380-First-Class-01

What’s Emirates’ motive for putting the A380 on the route?

Is there enough demand for an A380 between New York and Milan? I mean, I assume with low enough fares they can fill the plane. That being said, is it the most profitable way they could utilize the A380?

I think the simple answer is “who cares?” Emirates sure as hell doesn’t.

Emirates put the A380 on the Dallas to Dubai route as of October 1, 2014. There’s no way they did that because the demand was actually there. After all, they put a 777-200LR on the route previously, so if they wanted a capacity boost they would have just put a 777-300ER on the route, which is already quite a bit of extra capacity. The flight has rarely been more than half full since the upgauge. When I flew it a couple of weeks ago the upper deck (all of first and business class) had about as many passengers as flight attendants.

So why did they do it? Clearly because Etihad and Qatar Airways started Dallas service around the same time, and they wanted to remind them who’s boss.

In this case it wouldn’t surprise me if this is simply intended to be a slap in the face to US and European airlines, given their current Open-Skies kerfuffle.

Bottom line

This is a really cool route upgrade. Not only is this now the only plane between the US and Europe with a shower aboard, but this also represents a big upgrade in terms of the business class product.

Emirates-A380-First-Class-079

Emirates has fully flat staggered business class seats on the A380, while they have a (slightly) angled product with a middle seat on the 777. So this is great news for all premium cabin passengers.

Emirates-A380-Business-Class

Emirates-777-Business

Do you plan on flying Emirates’ A380 between New York and Milan?

Comments

  1. Curious if you have devalued Alaska Mileage Plan points now that they can’t book Emirates? Should I still be collecting them & getting their branded credit card or should I stick with SPG? Thanks!

  2. I would argue that at least in Business Class, the Emirates hard product isn’t THAT much better than the competition on the NYC-MXP route. Alitalia uses the same kind of seat as Emirates, Delta uses an A330 with reverse herringbone seats, even American is using an updated 763 with their new business class on the route. Sure, you don’t get the bar and the soft product on EK is better than DL/AA (although the catering on AZ is pretty great in business) but its not like EK is blowing the competition out of the water here. EK can pick up anyone in that market that is looking to buy a ticket in F on a nonstop NYC-MXP flight, but I have to imagine that is a tiny market.

    Given the options I can’t really see why any paying customers from the US would choose to fly EK over the other alternatives except for schedule reasons or if EK was priced lower. For a marginal improvement in quality, you lose out on earning miles in a program that is more useful here. I get that EK is doing this just because they can, but there’s no way this NYC-MXP route could possibly be profitable for them, and it sort of demonstrates why other airlines are frustrated with the ME3.

  3. AWESOME! Had a flight booked on EK 205 in July and I was quite sad to not flying with A380 returning from Australia… Well, not anymore! 😀

  4. Good for EK! I flew EK a lot back during the recession 2008-2012 and I remember when they had the last half of EK economy completely empty in those A380 flights (EK changed the plane for both daily flights to 777s back in 2010). Back then Dubai was in trouble and it showed how even EK was vulnerable.
    I know the times have changed but if another recession comes, I can see EK decreasing its JFK presence.
    As for redemption in miles, perhaps JAL may be a good option given it uses distance based redemption chart?

  5. Any way to book this with Alaska miles? Currently taking the Ethiad 787 from IAD, but would rather take this

  6. The last three times I checked pricing on this route, at various times of the year – twice I found that EK was priced lower than the competition. And the one time they weren’t, it was $9 more.

    @chasgoose – airlines are frustrated because EK is taking away their passengers on that route. That’s how competition works. Consumers win in the end, more competition means better pricing and more seats available. I have three colleagues who have flown the NYC-MXP route in the last year, two are AA frequent fliers while the other is DL. They picked EK best value and better value. And when consumers have an option to jump on a route which EK serves for just a few dollars more, there’s a very good chance they’ll go for it. This should motivate the other airlines serving this route to invest more in their product and improve the quality of service, which is really whats needed rather than complaining about revising an agreement and being “frustrated” as you say.

  7. This is also even a pretty big improvement for coach passengers on this route, given the 10-abreast layout on EK’s 777s vs. the pretty generous seat width in coach on A380s.

  8. This sure as hell was done to piss off the US airlines who couldn’t shut up about unfair competition. Well it is unfair, but isn’t this world unfair anyway?

  9. @ Miles Down Under — Hah, while I wouldn’t be surprised to almost see that, I have a feeling Boeing’s home of Seattle won’t ever get the A380. 😀

  10. @ Michelle — There are still lots of great Mileage Plan redemptions, so guess it all depends what your goals are. I do hope Emirates redemptions return at some point, so I continue to collect Alaska miles.

  11. Last question for you, would you rather take emirates A380 in F jfk – Dxb, or ethiads new 787 in F iAd-Abu ?

  12. @Lucky. Following up on Westin’s question, would you say the same if flying J? The reason I ask is it’s much simpler for us to fly Etihad out of IAD but the new concourse devoted to the A380 in Dubai looks like an amazing experience.

  13. According to flight aware, this flight is still being operated by 777 most days. Any idea whats going on?

  14. @ekartash; sean

    I dont’t think flightaware is correct here. If you look at flightradar24, it shows A380s in Operation on every flight dating back to at least Aug. 11. Even right now, flightaware shows a (not specified) B777 en route from JFK to MXP operating UAE206, while according to fr24 the flight is operated by the A380 aircraft with the Registration A6-EDW.
    I tried to post a comment earlier, but it seems not to get online (at least not yet), perhaps because it contained a link.

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