WHOA: Emirates Launching Flights To Fort Lauderdale

Here’s a route that sounds crazy on the surface, but actually makes quite a bit of sense. Emirates has just announced that they’ll be launching daily flights between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale as of December 15, 2016. The route will be operated by a Boeing 777-200LR with the following schedule:

EK213 Dubai to Fort Lauderdale departing 3:00AM arriving 10:25AM
EK214 Fort Lauderdale to Dubai departing 8:20PM arriving 7:40PM (+1 day)

dxb-fll

The flight is blocked at 16h25min westbound and 14hr20min eastbound.

This represents Emirates’ 11th route to the US, and also represents their second route to Florida, as the airline launched flights between Dubai and Orlando as of July 2015.

As far as their Gulf peers go, Qatar Airways flies between Doha and Miami since 2014, while Etihad doesn’t operate any flights to Florida.

So, why on earth would Emirates fly to Fort Lauderdale rather than Miami? Because they have a partnership with JetBlue, and JetBlue has a big presence out of Fort Lauderdale.

JetBlue-A321

As you might notice, this new flight has horrible aircraft utilization, and that’s by design. The plane sits on the ground in Florida for about 10 hours. Typically if an Emirates flight gets into the US in the morning it would turn around a couple of hours later.

However, by arriving in Fort Lauderdale in the morning, and by departing back to Dubai in the evening, they’ve able to provide seamless connection opportunities in conjunction with JetBlue. Per the press release:

Passengers wishing to travel beyond the Fort Lauderdale-Miami area to onward destinations in the US, Caribbean and Latin America can take advantage of Emirates’ codeshare partnership with JetBlue Airways (B6) that offers connection options to over 26 destinations in the US and 19 destinations throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, including the Bahamas, Cancun and Havana.

jetblue-destinations

As stated above, this flight is being operated by a 777-200LR, featuring eight fully enclosed first class suites, 42 angled business class seats, and 216 economy class seats.

Emirates-777-First-Class-1
Emirates 777 first class

Emirates-Business-Class-1
Emirates 777 business class

Bottom line

On one hand this route caught me off guard. If someone asked me to guess Emirates’ next US destination, I wouldn’t have guessed it would be Fort Lauderdale. However, upon further thought it seems like a logical airport to expand to, between South Florida being a large market, and also Emirates’ partnership with JetBlue.

A while ago Emirates had planned to launch flights to Panama City as a means of connecting passengers to northern South America and the Caribbean. Unfortunately that route never made it, so I guess Emirates views this new route as the next best alternative, given that they don’t have partnerships with any other carriers that would allow logical connections to that region.

What do you make of Emirates’ new flight between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale?

Comments

  1. @ Don — True, but keep in mind Emirates flies nonstop to Sao Paulo, so I can’t imagine anyone is routing from Dubai to VCP via Florida.

  2. Aren’t most of the non-South America destinations already served out of JFK by Jet Blue? Hard to believe this flight is worth launching due to the marginal benefit of connecting flights to Quito, Lima, and Bogata… but I guess it is since they’re doing it…

  3. @Justin- the main business Emirates is going after us the demand to/ from South Florida. Emirates would never allot 2 whole airplanes just for some connectivity. The connections are the icing on the cake, be yes, FLL offers different connectivity on JetBlue than does JFK

  4. Not at all shocked at this. When I see the B6 traffic at FLL it actually makes a lot of sense, especially during the winter months when weather can be a issue with the northern entry points.
    Utilizing this arrival time when there is negligible other International traffic, should make for a speedy USCIS experience also.

  5. This does make sense and hopefully it will work out. I wonder if a 5th freedom flight to another country may result from this given 10 hours is a long time for a plane to sit there.

  6. I was just gonna say the same thing as Joey. Seems like this and it’s 10hr wait might be perfect for a tag to some popular destination island nearby Florida (plenty to choose from)…

  7. I’ll bet the reasoning is partially elsewhere. Like, 4th and 5th cousins of the royal family who don’t rate a PJ wanted a flight to go play in Miami, and they compromised on FLL.

  8. It’s going to interesting to see how they’re going to make FLL work. Lots of issues right now.

    I’m not sure if we’ll ever see Emirates in Miami now.

  9. Recently India vs West Indies T20 cricket match was held there.. Maybe Emirates is hoping for more such matches from ICC, and thus launched a flight…

  10. I bet they will try FLL-PTY using the same flight number so they can say they gave direct flights from DXB-PTY

  11. You would think adding on a FLL-PTY tag would be perfect to solve both the issue of the EK plane sitting on the tarmac for 10 hours in FLL as well as finally starting that long planned PTY service.

  12. Hopefully, this will drive FLL to develop some better lounge offerings as well. Fingers (over optimistically) crossed for an Emirates or B6 lounge that’s open to Mosaic and Skywards elites…

  13. How in the world does Emirates plane on flying to FLL? First of all there longest runway is 9,000 feet which is barley enough for a 777 let alone with a full flight and tank of fuel. When Quarter had the innocident in Miami where they scrapped the runway lights because of wrong runway position, they still had between 8000-10000 feet of runway and they scrapped it with the same aircraft. How will that work at FLL? Also most of FLLs gates are fit for narrowbody aircraft. I’m sure with the international terminal still in progress they can add a gate to fit it but still FLL isn’t a big airprot and the terminals could be tight. Even Noregions 787 often have to use air stairs and buses due to the gates not being big enough. Also other then Delta and United there are currently no lounges at FLL. They could add with new International Terminal. Still did Emirates think of the logistics and why their are hardly heavy jets or longhale flights that come into FLL???

  14. The 777LR flies into Dublin, which is 250 ft. in elevation and 8,650 ft. long, so FLL at basically zero feet and 9,000 should be fine in that regard.

    The real problem is the continued internationalization of FLL beyond just flights to small Caribbean islands. Bigger planes flying to South America and Europe have already stretched its ground game, let alone the ICE dog and pony show. I wonder if this is to snag up a spot before the expanded international terminal is finished and found to be lacking to accommodate many more European (in particular) and South American flights, to give them a competitive edge leveraging JetBlue’s network there in addition to South Florida as a desirable destination itself.

  15. @Alex-Its about time they start flying to PTY.

    @Joey- Exactly what I was thinking. Any chance they will be flying to another country with 10 hours on the ground? A lot of possibilities here…MEX and PTY seem like they would be prime candidates…

    Immigration in the US at airports and ports of entry are called CBP (CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION), not ICE, not USCIS. CBP…

  16. With that 10hr downtime, wouldn’t be surprised if Emirates were to tag on somewhere in Central America. EK have expressed interests in operating to MEX and PTY, however if it were between the two, I would think it’d be PTY because B6 doesn’t operate there from FLL and that would allow them to say that they have “started direct flights to PTY”

  17. Maybe for domestic transit it could make sense but international transit through US is to be avoided at any cost as sterile transit is not yet possible in US

  18. Cool, now if B6 would just add a couple of daily flights between TPA and FLL so those of us over here in the Cigar City could connect without having to fly WN with the attendant hassles of claiming/rechecking and having to fly Air Walmart.

  19. Hopefully EK still have enough Captains left to fly their 777 there.
    EK have cancelled their 2nd flights both to Seattle and Boston due to insufficient pilot numbers.
    Rumour has it over 100 left over Summer or put in their resignations.
    Plenty of 777 sitting out in the desert here not used as no crew

  20. B772s can operate out of 6000ft runways and do (SQ291-2). This has only a small fuel load only about 1/6th of what would be loaded out of FLL

  21. @Neel

    Crew are not robots to work 10 more hours. Unfortunately they are human. Doing a South American tag means semi-permanent crew at FLL.

    I doubt EK will do that anything to attract FAA’s attention, they like to keep the control of their employee practices within family AKA GCAA. FAA is not as liberal as Australia/New Zealand when it comes to crew practices.

  22. @ted the Qatar incident in Miami was unique because the pilots planned for a full runway take off not an intersection departure. This means full power was most likely not utilized. FLL-DXB will never have to be capacity controlled because the 777-200LR will be making the 7800 mile trip with tailwinds. The 777-200LR has a range of over 9,000nm and can do that facing the wind. This flight is around 7000 with a tailwind with no overwater flying the 2nd half of the flight so there won’t have to be major fuel reserves. The plane will only be loaded with 75% fuel making room for full cargo and PAX even on a 9,000ft runway. In the future if FLL makes a gate for it, that runway could even handle an A380 for the eastbound flight.

  23. As someone living in Singapore with family in Fort Lauderdale, I am most excited and happy to hear of this new route. There is currently no easy way of getting to S Florida from Singapore, most routes involve long layovers or 2 connections. The Qatar flight is an option, but it arrives at MIA which is a nightmare of an airport. This Emirates route also has much better timing (arrives in FLL in the morning, departs for DXB in the evening), and yes, makes it way easier to hit the Caribbean from Asia.

  24. I might buy a Emirates ticket Fort Lauderdale – Dubai – Mumbai, but I am concerned about the plane running out of gas…sounds childish, but THAT caused the crash in Colombia a couple of weeks ago, they run out of gas! Anyone has reliable info about the safety of this long flight?
    Thanks!

  25. I saw that 777 rolling tonight on 10L,there was nothing left when he rotated.
    There was a strong easterly wind with peak gusts to 22 and he still used every bit of that concrete.
    A flight that has 14hr schedule needs to have more than 75% fuel onboard and 1 hour reserve.
    I would love to see the performance charts they use on that 777-200lr

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