Emirates and USA


Since Emirates is becoming one of the worlds fast growing airlines, with 87 Boeing 777s, 70 Airbus A380s, and 70 of the upcoming A350s ordered, do you think that they will see a market for adding flights to more US destinations like Denver, Chicago, Miami, Honolulu, DC, Atlanta, Phoenix, and maybe even Philadelphia just like them adding routes to Seattle and Dallas? My guess is that they might add one of those 8 routes, possibly Denver, Chicago, Atlanta, and/or DC. Im guessing they would announce addition of these routes second or third quarter of 2012, and begin the first or second quarter of 2013.

What do you guys think?


I was in Dubai a couple of weeks ago and heard all sorts of American accents in the hotel so I would say additional service is a good bet.

John in Saudi


Denver - International market isn’t that big - very long stage length, can only support 2 transatlantic flights as it is right now.

Chicago - Everyone says that this is their next market, but you already have Etihad to AUH and Air India trashing yields to India. It has made the market much less attractive. They’ll have to go here eventually though.

Miami - One of the shorter markets they could access, large catchment area - they’ll definitely go here eventually.

Honolulu - Insanely long stage length for a market that will produce lousy yields and has virtually no O&D demand from the middle east and can be reached more conveniently though Asia. Never going to happen.

DC - similar problems to Chicago (too much existing capacity to the middle east/India), but a smaller market, but also more prestigious. Will probably happen eventually, probably not soon though.

Atlanta - could happen in several years. DL has struggled on ATL-DXB and they have a ton of feed on the ATL end. ATL-Middle East and ATL-India is a growing market, but still comparatively small.

PHX - can only support one daily transatlantic flight as is. PHX-India and PHX-Middle East are tiny markets. Also very long stage length. Never going to happen.

PHL - Definite possibility due to shorter stage length and decent size local market with no existing nonstop access to the middle east (other than TLV) or India.


The transatlantic flights go to Europe. Emirates would be going to the Middle East. Denver is one of the top cities for the oil industry.

Emirates isn’t a member of any of the three airline alliances. They do have code shares with several airlines but no USA airline. If they want to increase service from the USA they’ll need to join an alliance, develop a code share with an American airline, or fly directly to more cities. Seeing as they wish to remain independent of any alliance and they aren’t code sharing with a domestic airline, the only way the can expand service from the USA is to fly there directly.

Their expansion in the USA and other countries isn’t for O&D traffic but for the connections passengers can have at DXB.


Denver is not a particularly big oil town and not a particularly big market for international flights.

Yes, DXB is a connecting hub, but if there’s no passengers in these US markets that want to connect to the places that Emirates flies to from DXB then there will be no passengers on the US-DXB flight. Emirates can’t just show up in a US city and fill a daily 777 when the market only has 100-200 total daily passengers headed to the entire Middle East and India, many of whom already have allegiance to another alliance or carrier and will connect over a US hub or Europe instead.

Even as you said, in a place like Atlanta, say there’s a business passenger flying ATL-JED or ATL-BOM. Chances are they are a SkyMiles member. Flying DL/AF/KL to get there rather than EK will be a huge boost to their elite status with DL and give them a ton of redeemable miles. They will get none of that from EK (unless they take lots of trips to the middle east or india).

This makes entering markets with an already small O&D market very challenging for carriers like EK.


Denver is a larger oil industry center than you may think.

From an article in the Denver Business Journal, as quoted on the Colorado Gas and Oil Association web page.

Denver is ranked No. 4 worldwide in a survey of “up-and-coming” energy cities for oil and gas professionals, according to industry website Rigzone.com.
Denver was the only U.S. city to make the list, and one of three in North America.

The No. 1 city was Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. No. 2 was Calgary, Alberta, Canada — a city many long-time oil and gas executives say is similar to Denver. No. 3 was Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

Also see the article on the Denver Basin in Wikipedia.


“up and coming” doesn’t mean that it has actually achieved the scale of a large oil and gas city yet. It just means it is growing. Additionally, much of the traffic there is US companies servicing US and Canadian oil and gas fields, meaning it isn’t generating traffic to the middle east, but rather traffic to places like North Dakota, Alberta/Manitoba, Alaska, and west Texas.


I really enjoyed reading this. And what you provided was true, so thank you. I forgot Etihad operates to ORD. Reason being why I chose these destinations, excluding ORD is because Etihad Airways has no operations to those airports, just like SFO, LAX, HOU, and the soon to be DFW and SEA. And I thought they would see a marketing chance to add those destinations. And even though Etihad and Emirates both operate to JFK, they both still have a good market.

All of these airports are huge, but what I asked myself as I was replying to this, would those airports be able to accommodate the 777, or the A380, or any other aircraft they fly? I would see ATL, DC, PHL, and possibly DEN doing so. What do you think???