Emirates just announced new daily service Newark – Athens – Dubai effective March 12.
- Dubai – Athens, 10:50 am – 2:25pm, Emirates EK209
Athens – Newark, 4:40pm – 10:00pm, Emirates EK209
Newark – Athens, 11:45pm – 3:05pm+1, Emirates EK210
Athens – Dubai, 5:10pm+1 – 11:50pm+1, Emirates EK210
My first thought was that adding Newark – Athens service is about the least likely route to succeed.
- Emirates will fly to Newark, a new airport for them without any other service, incurring all the costs of a station for just a single flight — no economies of scale.
- Athens is largely a leisure market at this point, low yield, in fact Singapore Airlines has chosen to serve it with their low cost carrier Scoot.
However the Emirates flight will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER which offers a dense format — 8 first class seats, 42 business, and 304 economy. Business class is angled and 7-across, and economy is 10-abreast.
Emirates Boeing 777
With Emirates cutting costs and with this many seats they should be able to make the flight work with super low fares. Expect to see New York – Athens prices drop.
They still do offer a nice first class, though, the same suites as onboard an Airbus A380 but with no showers and no business class bar.
Expect to see the CEO of Delta’s mind explode. Delta flies New York JFK – Athens seasonally, has led the charge arguing for protectionism cheerleading for Donald Trump to crack down on Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar flying to the US in order to raise prices on consumers. (United flies Newark – Athens seasonally as well, but has been less vocal in opposition to the Gulf carriers than Delta.)
While United, American, and Delta have complained about growth of the Mideast carriers, who offer one-stop service to smaller cities in India, Pakistan and surrounding areas that US carriers do not serve (and that in some cases even their European partners do not serve) some have suspected the real concern is fifth freedom routes — to date, only Emirates has flown transatlantic, offering New York JFK – Milan.
This flight then represents something of a watershed. It will no longer be just one transatlantic flight offered by a Gulf carrier.