Emirates continues its US expansion, adding Fort Lauderdale to its roster of destinations. The first flights are just two months hence, launching on 15 December 2016. This is the 11th US destination for Emirates and the second in Florida, joining Orlando in providing service to Dubai and beyond.
The company is keen to point out the value of the nonstop service to Dubai but, more than that, calls attention to the better connecting opportunities travelers will now have:
Passengers from the Middle East, GCC, Africa, South Asian subcontinent, and the Far East can enjoy quick and convenient connections in Dubai before they travel onwards to Fort Lauderdale. In particular, passengers from destinations such as Beirut, Doha, Riyadh, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Bangkok, Cebu, Singapore, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, as well as Colombo and Karachi will experience connection times of less than 4 hours while in Dubai….
[P]assengers travelling from Fort Lauderdale to Johannesburg will experience the best roundtrip connectivity in the industry with quick connection times in Dubai. Travellers from Fort Lauderdale heading to Bangkok, Phuket, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Amman, Bahrain, Beirut, Dammam, Doha, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Islamabad, and Lahore will also enjoy fast connection times in Dubai.
That Johannesburg reference is an interesting one, likely at least slightly a dig at Delta’s non-stop flight from Atlanta and Emirates trying to position itself as the better option for South Florida travelers on that route. No doubt this route announcement will rile up the subsidy claims anew. Emirates preempts those claims slightly by pointing out the aircraft used on the new route is US-built, something only done in the US route announcements.
Onward from Florida
The other connection aspect which matters a great deal is the JetBlue link at Fort Lauderdale. JetBlue is quickly expanding its South Florida hub, targeting 140 daily flights in the not too distant future. Much of that growth is aimed at the Caribbean and Latin America markets and those are destinations to which Emirates needs the help of JetBlue’s feed. Nearly all of the destinations in that region are too small to handle direct flights from Emirates so building up a strong feeder network through JetBlue gives both carriers a strong boost. The two carriers offer code share options to many of these destination and limited frequent flyer reciprocity to improve the travel experience. Furthering that loyalty reciprocity would be a welcome move as the flow of travelers across the two carriers continues to increase.
The new route will be served by a Boeing 777-200LR, the smallest of Emirates’ planes with the range for the 14-16 hour trips. Orlando service also began with the smaller plane and was eventually upgraded to the 777-300ER, something the Fort Lauderdale airport authority and tourism boards no doubt hope to see as well. The flight times include a 10 hour break for the plane in Fort Lauderdale rather than an immediate turn. Leaving the plane idle for that long is a clear indication of the value Emirates believes the connecting traffic will bring to the route.
The new route also raises Emirates’ competition with Doha-based Qatar Airways which operates a daily flight from Miami where it enjoys onward traffic feed from oneworld partner American Airlines.
Header Image: An Emirates 777-200LR, the type launching the new FLL non-stop flight (Photo from Emirates)
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Now that is cool ! Anyone that has flown EK knows how this opens up a lot of options, too bad the only “European” stop is Milan from JFK!
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