During an Emirates press conference today held in Seattle, WA, Alaska Airlines announced a mileage partnership with the Dubai based airline. Passengers will be able to earn and redeem miles on either airline, plus miles accumulated while flying on Emirates will count towards Alaska MVP elite level program. From March 1, 2012 to May 31st Alaska will offer double miles on any Emirates flight.
“As part of our commitment to Seattle, we are launching our service by partnering with Seattle’s hometown airline to offer customers the convenience of a frequent flier partnership as well as one-stop check-in and through checked baggage,” said Nigel Page, Emirates Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations for the Americas.
As reported previously, Emirates will start non-stop service from Seattle (SEA) to Dubai (DXB) starting on March 1, 2012. The new flight will help connect the northwest to the Middle East, Africa and India. Emirates new flight (#’s EK229 and EK230) will depart daily from Seattle and Dubai and take 14.5 to 15hrs to complete. Emirates Boeing 777-300ER will we set up in a three class layout and the price for a first class suite will cost $15,279.00, while business will cost $9479.00 and economy will be around $1448.00. With Seattle having so many large companies and a decent demand for people to visit their families in the middle east and India, the airline expects their new route to do quite well.
When asked if Emirates might be interested in upgrading their 777 service to Seattle to an Airbus A380 Nigel stated, “As we build the business up we will certainty look at that.” However, he stated that they have not been in talks with the Port of Seattle about bringing the A380 to SEA. Previously, Perry Cooper with the Port of Seattle communications told AirlineReporter.com that, “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. 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.”
Currently, the Airbus A380 is not able to make it from Dubai to Seattle non-stop and Emirates stated that they are working with Airbus to increase the range to handle cities, like Los Angeles non-stop.
Emirates will also be starting service to Dallas starting February 2nd and has voiced interest in expanding to Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. The fact the airline has so many aircraft currently on order (70 Airbus A350s, 70 Airbus A380s and 87 Boeing 777s), my guess is all these cities will be seeing Emirates service soon.