Emirates Resuming A380 Service To Houston As Of June 1, 2018

Emirates has been doing what they can to rightsize capacity on routes as much as possible. For example, last April Emirates announced that they were drastically reducing service to multiple US markets, following the US electronics ban. At the time they announced that they were reducing flights to Boston, Los Angeles, and Seattle, from twice daily to once daily, and also reducing flights to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando from daily to 5x weekly.

That wasn’t the first time they had reduced capacity to the US, though. As of July 1, 2016, Emirates downgraded their Dubai to Houston route from an Airbus A380 to a Boeing 777-300ER. This was pretty significant since it was the first time ever that Emirates took an A380 off a US route.

There’s some good news on that front — Emirates will once again fly the A380 daily between Dubai and Houston as of June 1, 2018. As before, the route will operate with the following schedule:

EK211 Dubai to Houston departing 9:35AM arriving 4:50PM
EK212 Houston to Dubai departing 8:00PM arriving 8:00PM (+1 day)

At ~8,168 miles, this is Emirates’ second longest US route, as it’s just a hair shorter than Los Angeles to Dubai. Personally I’m a bit surprised to see this capacity increase, especially given that Emirates doesn’t have any real partner airlines in Houston to provide feed.

Emirates will use a three cabin A380 on the route, featuring 516 seats. This includes 14 first class suites, 76 business class seats, and 426 economy seats. This will represent a nice improvement across the board in terms of the passenger experience.

In first class we’re not only seeing an increase of six first class suites, but the A380 has Emirates’ famous onboard shower spa.

In business class we’re seeing an increase of 34 business class seats, but most importantly, the A380 business class seats all feature direct aisle access, while the 777 business class seats don’t. The A380 also has Emirates’ onboard bar.

Even the economy experience will be significantly better — both planes have 10 seats per row, but the A380 has a significantly wider cabin.

Given that Emirates will have significantly more seats to sell, hopefully this leads to more award availability and lower fares.

This isn’t Emirates’ only change to their US network as of June 1, 2018 — also as of that date Emirates is launching daily flights between Newark and Dubai, which is a new nonstop route for them (they presently fly from New York JFK to Dubai, and from Newark to Athens).

Are you surprised to see Emirates bring the A380 back to Houston?

Comments

  1. I’d imagine that since so much of the oil services industry is still based in Houston they don’t necessarily need feed on that end.

  2. Not really. A huge South Asian diaspora in the technology sectors are based in Houston. EK is the preferred airline for many in the area. Let’s face it. The ME3 make most of their revenue on transporting travelers from/to Asia.

  3. Emirates is becoming very inconsistent.

    1. 777s now feature 3 different Biz class. 2-3-2 old seat, 2-2-2 old seat. 2-3-2 new seat.
    2. 777s now feature 2 different 1st class cabins and I do not think they will retrofit. 1-1-1 New First (not used on long haul routes) 1-2-1 old first
    3. A380s are the only aircraft that are consistent but some have slightly upgraded entertainment systems.

    Also the lounges are not very good in the US except for LAX, SFO, JFK.

  4. Hi Ben,
    It seems to be an aircraft change only because we are launching so many new 777 routes in June, we don’t have enough pilots to fly all the 777’s. The EWR, GRU/SCL and DPS/AKL will be heavy on crew usage!
    I think we’ll see Boston become an A380 destination soon, as well as up gauge in a few of the European routes to A380

  5. They don’t need feed in Houston to fill up a plane. First and biz are filled with oil and gas biz and coschbus filled with vfr traffic from the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Houston is the country’s fourth largest city. It can fill planes on its own

  6. I am so thankful they are bringing back the A380 service. I flew business class from Dubai to Houston on both the A380 and more recently, in May, on the 777 and there is no comparison – the business class seats on the A380 were far superior

  7. @ leo: New York (for the past generation since cracking down on crime and midtown squalor); Washington (for the past generation, since crack and open prostitution have abated); Boston, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, Chicago (in the parts of the city tourists are likely to go); San Francisco; and dozens of other nice places to live and visit.

    Admit it: Houston is a terrible s***hole in most places.

  8. I totally disagree John Houston isn’t a s***hole in most places quite the contrary. Having lived in Dallas, Austin, NYC, SFO and ORD I can speak with authority on that. While I enjoyed my time in those other cities I’ve always come back to Houston and was born in Texas. Houston is one of the most cosmopolitan cities anywhere with 1 in 4 residents in Harris County born outside of the U.S. This give Houston one of the most dynamic and multi ethnic populations in the country.. Dont get me wrong we have our poorer less desireable parts of the city as any major metroplis does but no more so than any of the other cities you’ve mentioned.

  9. Agree with @Steve. Houston isn’t my type of city (neither are NY, LA, or Chicago) but Houston is definitely a cool place with lots of diversity (and beautiful people!). For comparison my favorite cities are the twin cities, Boise, Cincy, and Seattle. I lived and studied in NY and BOSS before moving to SF for work. Got very tired of the pretentious attitudes.

  10. I’m sorry butt Houston is a shithole.
    I got crabs and bed bugs from 2 different luxury hotels there.
    Yes crabs and bugs.

  11. Air NZ does non-stop Auckland to Houston rotations, a route Continental had announced before merging with United, which partners ANZ. But I doubt many of those pax would feed a Dubai flight when DXB can be reached non stop from AKL.

    As you say, EK is always tweaking frequencies and capacity. At BHX we went from 3 777s a day to 2 x 777s and 1 x 380, currently it’s 2 x 380.

    I seem to see an EK 777 or 380 at almost every major European airport I visit.

  12. @Number1

    Based on your poor mastery of the English language, I am assuming that you are foreign to the US. A Super 8 isn’t a luxury hotel. Keep your “crabs” to yourself :()

  13. Texas and India are exactly two ends of the earth so Indians don’t care fly toward east or west. But Indian group is larger in Irving/DFW and Austin/Round Rock so usually they need shuttles.

  14. Oil prices are rebounding. That means more Houston traffic. End of story. Wouldn’t surprised if SAS fired up the IAH-SVG route again.

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