Emirates brings the A380 back to Houston after almost two year hiatus

United Arab Emirates (UAE) carrier Emirates Airline has confirmed it will resume Airbus A380 services between its Dubai International Airport hub Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport from 1-Jun-2018. This follows recent adjustments to its United States of America (USA) services with the launch of a new non-stop Dubai – Newark Liberty International service from 1-Jun-2018 and the resumption of daily services to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando from 25-Mar-2018.

Emirates celebrated 10 years of service to Houston in Dec-2017, and has carried nearly two million passengers since its inaugural flight in Dec-2007. Services to Houston were upgauged to an A380 in Dec-2014, but as part of a fleet optimisation and review of its US network, the decision was made from Jul-2016 to operate the route with a Boeing 777-300ER.

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With the energy sector showing a continued recovery and playing a large role in Houston’s resurgence, Emirates says the decision to reinstate the A380 service is “in line with commercial demand”. It will use one of its three-class aircraft on the route to meet the premium demand in the market, utilising a 516-seat configured version with 14 First Class suites, 76 Business Class flatbed seats and 426 Economy seats. This will add more than 160 one way seats into the market compared to the 777-300ER being replaced.

The Dubai – Houston route was originally flown by Emirates using a Boeing 777-200LR on a daily basis, but a second daily rotation was flown for just over a year between Nov-2010 and Jan-2012. After reverting back to the single daily rotation capacity was boosted through a switch to the larger 777-300ER from Apr-2012 until the A380 first arrived into the market in Dec-2014.

The outbound flight ‘EK211’ departs Dubai at 09:35 and arrives in Houston at 16:50 each day with the return flight ‘EK212’ departing Houston at 20:00 and arriving back in Dubai at 20:00 the next day. Passengers from Houston are able to enjoy convenient connections in Dubai for onward travel to destinations in India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore or South Africa as well as an increasing network destinations through Emirates’ codeshare partnership with sister carrier flydubai.

CHART – Emirates Airline are the sole airline to serve the Dubai – Houston marketSource: CAPA – Centre for Aviation and OAG