WOW: Emirates Is Launching Daily Flights Between Newark And Athens

Emirates has just announced that they’ll be launching daily flights between Athens and Newark as of March 26, 2017. The flight will operate as a continuation of one of Emirates’ existing flights between Dubai and Athens, so the entire routing will look as follows:

EK209 Dubai to Athens departing 10:50AM arriving 3:30PM
EK209 Athens to Newark departing 5:30PM arriving 10:00PM
EK210 Newark to Athens departing 11:45PM arriving 4:00PM
EK210 Athens to Dubai departing 6:00PM arriving 11:40PM

DXB-EWR

The flight between Athens and Newark covers a distance of ~4,920 miles, and is blocked at 9hr15min eastbound and 11hr30min westbound.

The flight will be operated by a three class Boeing 777-300ER.

Emirates-777
Emirates 777-300ER

The plane features eight fully enclosed first class suites and 42 angled (though nearly flat) business class seats.

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

Emirates-Business-Class-1
Emirates 777 business class

While this will be Emirates’ first flight to Newark, it complements their existing 4x daily A380 flights out of New York JFK, including three nonstop flights, and one flight that operates via Milan.

This new route really caught me off guard. I know Emirates has long been interested in adding more flights between Europe and the U.S., and they’ve been talking to many governments about it. So I’m not surprised the Greek government was interested given the lack of year-round service between the two countries. At the same time, there’s probably a reason that the service isn’t economically viable, or else a U.S. carrier would likely operate it by now.

While I’m sure they’ll be able to fill the plane, I’m skeptical as it to whether or not they’ll be able to do so profitably. Greece isn’t especially high yield, and for anyone traveling between Dubai and New York, one of the daily nonstop A380 flights would be more convenient.

Here’s what Emirates’ president has to say about the new route:

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.”

Bottom line

The Gulf carriers have been slowing their growth, and in the case of Emirates, they’re delaying the delivery of some of their planes. So while the airline will still grow, in general they’re being more conservative with the routes they add. This fifth freedom service between Newark and Athens is an interesting move. On one hand, there’s no year-round service between the two countries as it stands, while on the other hand, there’s probably an economic reason for that.

What do you make of Emirates’ new flight between Newark and Athens?

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Caught me off guard as well but it’s great to see another option other than United (or star alliance carriers) to fly to Europe for EWR based flyers.

  2. Unfortunately for passengers in all classes of service, this will never be an A380 route since EWR can’t accommodate the A380. Plus the whole “these planes are probably going to be empty” thing.

  3. in the summer this flight will be full. In the winter it’ll be empty. Fares will be great for consumers. yields will be horrible for EK.

  4. Will trump ban Muslim countries from entering the United States, then all flights to us will be empty or cancelled,

  5. I am THRILLED at the route, but have to agree w/ everyone else here…Profitability will be more then a challenge…UA can’t make this work year round on a 767 or small 787-8 even with all their connections/feed…

  6. I think this route will be a game changer for the large Greek community in Northern New Jersey. For years they would go to PHL or JFK and now a flight right from Newark.

  7. Bummer already booked my trip to Greece in Iberia business with AA miles. Would have much preferred giving emirates first a try

  8. UA and DL both operate EWR/JFK-ATH during the summer months only. There’s a reason they pull ac off these routes in the winter – economic viability. Will be interested to see what EK is seeing during those off peak months…

  9. Late arrival time in Newark is a deal breaker for me as a west coast passenger. I’d prefer to get home the same day and avoid the expense of a Newark hotel.

  10. @Curtis Trump voters took Trump campaign comments ‘seriously, but not literally’. It has already been clarified that no, there will be no “ban on muslim travel to the US”. There will be “extreme vetting” of folks coming from areas of intense terrorist activity. Which won’t affect most airlines, since they don’t have that many customers coming from Syria and Yemen. 😉

  11. In winters when the traffic between US and Greece is low Emirates will be able to fill this flight as they would/could offer discounted fares to Newark on this flight for Pax originating in India as a 2 stop service. Since the fares on their JFK flights are considerably higher this could be a good option for Indian Pax if they could get a ticket to Newark at 20% lesser fare with 2 stops.

    Also the connections to DTW and other such places Emirates routes it by default from Boston. They never offer on a single ticket through JFK again they could offer connections from EWR on this flight.

  12. Serves QR right for never following through their announcement to operate to the US out of Athens when they started receiving their 787s!

  13. Any insight on this impacting fares out of Athens on EK? Historically has been one of the cheapest starting points for EK First Class back to USA. However, checking fares from ATH via Dubai to USA post launch, seems like they have gone up by 2-3x times what I found as recent as two weeks ago.

  14. This should be great for Qantas FF as redemption on EK flights is fairly good, I got EK from Sydney to Bangkok to Dubai and Barcelona and back in May and July this year in business. These new flights from Athens to the US will be great and a good way to get from Europe to the US on Qantas points.
    Also it will be a great way to combine an around the world airfare on Qantas and Emirates as Australia, UAE, Greece, USA and back home to Australia.

  15. Well he mentions the vast cargo space of the 777. The other carriers fly smaller planes. So that must be one of the major advantage of this route, year long.

  16. These flights are going to be full. Sure, stop at ATH is going to add to travel time but it certainly beats having to drive to JFK for most pax based in Jersey and Philly metro area. (Time to travel to JFK is unpredictable due to traffic). Success of ME3 is US is partly supported by their ability to serve South Asian cities directly (for that crowd, ability to do customs in hometown and avoid a domestic leg is worth an hour or so extra that ATH minus JFK schlep is going to take. This is about why planes will be full. Profitability is a different calculation.

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