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Seattle to Get Emirates Flight, Possibly Airbus A380?

This Emirates Boeing 777-300ER is in Seattle, but only because it was built there. Soon one will be based in Seattle.

This Emirates Boeing 777-300ER is in Seattle, but only because it was built there. Soon one will be based in Seattle.

Emirates has announced they will start flying non-stop from Dallas and Seattle to Dubai starting early next year. Flights from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) will commence on February 2, 2012 and from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) on March 1, 2012. The airline is also looking at possible expansions to Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.

Before 9/11 Emirates had plans to expand in the US, but their plans were put on hold due to lack of demand. Currently, Emirates is the world’s number one airline in international traffic and they feel it is time to increase service to the US.

We’ve always had fairly ambitious plans for the U.S. and this is part of that,” Emirates President Tim Clark told Bloomberg. “It’s an immense market. There will be more to come, including increased frequencies and bigger planes. We have ideas for the East Coast, the north-south axis in the center and for the west.”

Emirates will operate their new flights from DFW and SEA using Boeing 777s, but the airline is speaking openly about using larger Airbus A380s on future US routes.

“The A380 will be an option for all U.S. operations post- 2013, when the plane will have a higher takeoff weight, so that routes such as Dubai-Los Angeles become a distinct possibility,” he said. “And most U.S. airports are A380- capable or will be.”

Being based in Seattle, it is very exciting to hear that not only will a new airline start operations here, but that they are also contemplating using the Airbus A380 in the future. As of now, no airline operates the A380 to SEA and even with this announcement, it seems it could still take a while.

“We do not have any immediate plans to bring the A380 to Seattle, although this may be something we consider in the future,” Jim Baxter, Vice President North America, Emirates Airline explained to AirlineReporter.com via email. Even if Emirates was ready to operate the A380 to Seattle, the airport is not able to handle scheduled service of the world’s largest airliner.

“We can handle the A380 in emergencies, however we do not have facilities for regular use, such as the multiple gate loading ramps, for the aircraft,” Perry Cooper, SEA’s Media and Public Affairs Manager explained. “At this time, if an A380 were to arrive and need to access a gate, safety guidelines would require all traffic to stop until the aircraft stopped at its gate, due to the width of taxiways and safety zones next to the runways.”

The A380 is so large, that it would currently take up two of SEA’s gate configurations and due to the cost and lack of direct demand, the airport does not “currently have plans to expand to accommodate the A380.”

Image: Rick Schlamp

25 comments to Seattle to Get Emirates Flight, Possibly Airbus A380?

  • Screw Emirates. Not only are they subsidized and get terms no US and some EU carriers can get, but they kicked our allies up north out of Dubai and we reward them. Props to Canada and Germany for preventing more expansion into their countries.

  • TerminalWander

    DFW service is a 777-200LR like IAH

  • robert

    and that’s a ~ 7500 mile flight (14-15 hours ?) with 10 across in coach on their 777’s (most other airlines only put 9 across in coach ..) … I wouldn’t be rushing to that ride …

  • Nathan Gilbert

    Emirates is fast growing and somewhat glamorous, but really now the only place to fly on them is someplace east of Dubai. The only place I would want to possibly go is India, which they serve quite strongly, but I’m not going to Mumbai, Delhi or Chennai in the near future. Any place further east would be more easily flown trans-pacific from the US (example, Bangkok, Australia, etc.)

    If I was going to India on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation I’d probably take British Airways via London or KLM via Amsterdam.

  • mawestpac

    Airline should re consider brining A380 to newly introduce their route. Seattle is known as “Home of Boeing”.

  • mawestpac

    I truly respect Seattle as Boeing home town, not Chicago. I live in Chicago area and visited Boeing store many times, but it was disappointment service a
    Bottom line is we need to respect Boeing history.

  • longhouse

    great to hear that emirates would start flying from seattle

  • Looks like yet another airliner who operates, or will operate an A380 who’s trying to ‘find’ some place to fly it to.

  • Medardo CAdiz

    Dubai to Seattle in one jump…even if it’s 14 hours….it’s great! Have any of you guys tried flying to Seattle from the UAE via London Heathrhow…a nightmare airport that caused so much wasted time with their lousy security check points…poorly planned with stupid security people not using common sense…lots of people miss their connecting flight via Heathrow because of the inefficient airport security staff. Flying straight to Seattle from Dubai will be the best! And by the way, don’t knock Dubai for giving employment to thousands of unemployed workers from all over the world…especially from America. You might refer to the workers here as ‘slave labors’…but look again…these people are able to send money, ten to twenty times more over what they could earn at home in India or Philippines…if they can even find employment. So before you guys bark off with something you don’t know about…check your facts. At least in Dubai and rest of the UAE, the government action their programs…not like the NO CAN DO Congress and Senate in the US. Go figure.

  • ryncef

    Kris Ziel needs to check his facts before he continues his zenophobic, ignorant rants. EVERY govt subsidizes airlines, full stop. If he is referring to the EXIM bank financing, the claims by the US airlines about EXIM distorting the market in favor of foreign carriers is just plain untrue. Until crap US regulation of banks led to the severe credit crunch in 2008, EXIM financing was MORE expensive than commercial financing accessed by so called non subsidized airlines. in 2009, EXIM was already adjusting its policies to ensure its lending costs were not biasing in favor of its borrowers when the US ailrines launched their completely hypocritical and frankly deceitful campaign against EXIM. To Ziel and your head-up-ass like, there are two words you seem to forget: Bail Out. Remember all the taxpayer $$ that went to bail out US airlines after 9/11? Massive, unprecedented taxpayer subsidies to so called “free market” *what a joke* US airlines. US airlines that were totally mismanaged (with some exceptions), quite inefficient and needed to either die or get new leadership–instead got big fat checks from me and every other taxpayer to subsidize their dipshit management practices equally clueless union demands. So, do those that like to practice arab-hating in the name of Emirates bashing, pull your heads out of the part of your anatomy in which its typically inserted n and get your facts right.

    And on the labor issue: having been to UAE many, many times, the truth is UAE treats its foreign manual laborers as well (if not better) than we treat Mexican and Central American labor. Funny how its easier for the Arab bashers to conveniently forget that the US has its poor, hard working labor force that they malign just as they criticize Arab states for basically using the same type of labor.

  • Highgate

    The Canadian government paid for it’s protectionist ways (Defending AC Air Canada against much better operated airlines)
    by losing a key airbase in UAE and causing major inconvenience to tens of thousands of Canadian businesspeople who travel to the UAE. I think they are vastly more clued in now as the situation seems to have simmered down. Foreign workers flock to these countries and send pay home and are pretty happy o have work. The labour and HSE standards are improving because the eys of the world are on allof these fast growing lands. As for Mr Ziel and his ilk ; when I hear people make ignorant comments like his, I usually find out that they have never been out of their mobile home park in Scrunchbutt, Nowhere USA let alone the Middle East and don’t even own a passport. When they do travel abroad they stick out like a sore thumb and people say “Ignorant bloody Yank” and give civilized Americans a black eye. A visit to any airport over there will show you how we ought to run airports. If Emirates , QatarAirways
    or
    Etihad begin flying direct to Seattle it will become our run of choice out of Canada. After February in YYC we have AC, BA and KLM to choose from as LH is suspending it’s daily to FRA and beyond.

  • indu

    Does emirates have delhi as a base to fly from

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