Emirates is doubling the number of daily A380 flights from Los Angeles to Dubai starting next summer, a move that should make it easier (and cheaper) for Angelenos to reach Africa, India and the Middle East.
This is another blow to European airlines like British Airways, KLM, Swiss and Lufthansa, all of which once had a lock on the lucrative traffic between Los Angeles and hard-to-reach places like Tehran, Nairobi and Bengaluru. Emirates has been double daily from Los Angeles in the past, but I am nearly certain it always was with smaller Boeing 777s.
The landscape from Los Angeles has changed drastically in the past five years. Emirates has been around for longer - it started flying to L.A. in 2008 - but so many of the new Middle East flights are new. There's Turkish Airlines (2011) and Etihad Airways, which started flying to L.A in 2014. And just this month, Qatar Airways began flying to L.A.
That's a lot of new flights in such a short period. But why?
Blog readers probably know this, but many flights are not designed to carry nonstop passengers between Los Angeles and Istanbul, Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Doha. Yes, they do that. But much of money comes from one-stop connections.
Want to fly to Lahore, Pakistan? Emirates, Etihad, Qatar and Turkish can all get you there from L.A. at reasonable prices and much faster than ever before. The same is true for many out-of-the-way destinations across India, Africa and the Middle East.
I did a dummy booking on Emirates' website and it looks like the second daily flight begins on July 1. The existing Emirates departure from L.A. stays at 4:45 p.m., with the new one leaving for Dubai at 10:30 p.m.
The new flight does not arrive in Dubai until 1:30 a.m., which is not great if you're trying to visit Dubai. But it's perfect for some connections. Here are some of the destinations Emirates serves from Dubai between 2:45 a.m and 5 a.m.
- Thiruvananthapuram, India
That means a lot of people will have more seamless connections when the new flights start. In the past, they might have had to wait a lot longer in Dubai's airport for their second flight.
Sadly, I have never flown Emirates, Etihad or Qatar. I have flown Turkish, and I was not particularly impressed. Have you flown any of the four? What did you think?
UPDATE: Emirates confirmed the second flight in a press release. The release talks about connections and luxury cabins, but it also stresses the importance of cargo, which I find interesting.
A major export from Los Angeles is fruits and vegetables and these account for the largest portion of Emirates’ cargo exports out of Los Angeles, transported both in the belly hold of the airline's wide body A380 aircraft as well as through two Emirates Boeing 777-200F freighters each week. The vast majority of these exports are transported to Dubai and Kuwait. Emirates also facilitates transport of garments, automobiles, machinery, and agricultural cargo to the Middle East, as well.