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Emirates could add UK-US flights

by Matt Falcus

Emirates A380

Dubai’s Emirates Airline has hinted that it would be interested in serving the UK – USA market with direct flights if it can gain approval to do so.

The carrier recently announced that it would start flights from Milan Malpensa to New York (as an extension of one of its daily Dubai-Milan flights). Now it seems it could replicate this with flights linking airports in the north of the UK with destinations in the USA.

Commenting on how its routes from Dubai to Glasgow, Newcastle and Manchester have all seen increased daily frequencies or larger aircraft, and how the airline carried 800,000 passengers to/from the north of England last year, Emirates’ UK vice president Laurie Berryman hopes to help alleviate overcrowding in the south of the country by offering these services.

“We do hold some rights out of the regions, so I would never say never. One of the things we are keen to say to the Davies Commission [UK Airports Commission], to relieve pressure on the south-east, is why don’t we make all the regional airports completely open skies, so anyone can fly anywhere. Heathrow sits in the south of England, but Manchester has a bigger catchment area in terms of a two-hour drive,” he said in the interview when questioned on the issue.

“With Emirates carrying over 800,000 passengers out of just four UK regional hubs, it is evident that there is more than enough brisk demand to launch direct flights to the USA from cities that the likes of BA do not operate long haul services from and that too would raise the appeal of Emirates.

An Emirates spokesperson later got in touch to make the following statement regarding this article: “We have no immediate plans to operate a direct service between the UK and US.”

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