Emirates starts A380 service to Washington as open skies row rumbles on

Emirates has introduced its flagship Airbus A380 service on its Washington route as the open skies row between Gulf carriers and their American rivals was reignited.

The A380 landed at Washington Dulles International Airport yesterday, having replaced the existing Boeing 777-300ER as the Dubai carrier increases its capacity to the United States amid “strong customer demand”.

The route takes the number of Emirates’ A380 destinations to 37.

It comes as US airlines – American, Delta and United – claimed last week that bookings from Orlando, San Francisco and Chicago to the region and beyond were down by as much as 13.3 per cent following the entry of Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways on those routes.

The row between American and Gulf airlines has been simmering for a year, with claim and counter-claim about the alleged anti-competitive effects of unfair government subsidies on the part of the Gulf carriers, who deny all allegations.

In response to the most recent claims from the US airlines, Emirates said: “The new data being flogged by them only considers the decline in bookings for US carriers and their joint venture partners. It totally disregards the fact that overall bookings grew with the start of Gulf carrier services into US cities – including Orlando, San Francisco, Chicago.”

Emirates has carried more than 11 million passengers on US flights since launching services to New York in 2004, and currently serves 10 US gateways.


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