Emirates Plays With Fire, Announces Newark to Athens Flight

You might think that with a new, anti-globalist administration in the US, foreign airlines might want to tiptoe carefully until they figure out the lay of the land. Emirates apparently didn’t get that memo. It has just announced that it will begin flying between Newark and Athens less than two months from now. Either Emirates is incredibly stupid or it’s decided to play mind games. Either way, the airline is most certainly playing with fire.

It’s been nearly two years since the big three US airlines laid out their case against the Middle East carriers. The airlines used forensic accounting to prove massive subsidies which, in their eyes, created unfair competition. The three airlines asked the US government to act and stop these Middle East carriers from having an unfair advantage.

Though there was a lot of talk about how this was hurting competition between the US and India or the Eastern US and Southeast Asia, my early assumption was that this was really about fifth freedom flights. A fifth freedom flight is where an airline has a flight start in its own country, go to a second country and then continue on to a third country carrying local traffic between the second and third country.

Until yesterday, Emirates had done this on only one route into the US: Dubai-Milan-New York/JFK, but that has been considered the canary in the coal mine with more expected to follow. It was possible to consider a future where Emirates would route aircraft from Dubai via many Asian and European destinations into the US. The much lower Emirates cost structure combined with relative regulatory freedom meant that it was a seemingly real threat. And it’s the only thing about the Middle East carriers that would truly terrify me were I running a US airline.

There has been plenty of jockeying since that time, trying to push the US government into action. But short of a tepid decision to enter into talks, nothing really happened. The US carriers received a cool reception at best. But that was under the last administration. Now we have Trump.

Though nobody knows what Trump is going to do or what he truly believes, this fight against the Middle East carriers seems like something he might like. After all, he has professed to be a huge fan of protectionism and isolationism. This fight would be right up his alley, if it can be considered important enough to attract his attention.

If you’re Emirates and you understand the situation, how would you proceed? Would you stay quiet and try to avoid upsetting the apple cart? Or would you go Putin-style. Take your shirt off, jump on a horse, and try to combat strength with strength of your own. Emirates says…

This new route between Newark and Athens comes only days after Trump was sworn in. The timing seems really odd.

The new route will start in less than 2 months on March 12, not even close to high season. Delta begins seasonal service from JFK on April 14 while United’s flight from Newark doesn’t begin until May 24. Why? Because Athens is a huge leisure market and does well in the summer, but the rest of the year it is not a good market. Now Emirates is going to come in and launch a year-round flight with absolutely no feed on either end despite what Emirates claims.

According to the travel agent note the airline sent out, “This flight will be facilitating convenient onward connections beyond Athens to the Greek islands, including Corfu, Santorini and Mykonos as well as select European destinations such as Bucharest, Sofia and Tirana.” I tried to look up connections into Santorini and Mykonos, and while there are Aegean flights that connect, they didn’t price for me on a single ticket. So… no feed. And even if they do get some, it’s still highly seasonal.

Further, the times aren’t great (it gets into Newark at 10pm with a return leaving for Athens near midnight). And then there’s Newark itself. Emirates doesn’t fly there today, so it has to open a whole new station to support this flight.

I can’t imagine any scenario where this flight is profitable on its own year-round. It seems likely that there will be additional assistance here somewhere, maybe from the Greeks? The President of Emirates, Tim Clark, started his statement with “The Greek Government and Athens International Airport approached Emirates some time ago to consider serving the route between Athens and New York. After careful review, Emirates concluded that extending one of our Dubai-Athens flights to Newark would be commercially and operationally feasible.”

By making this move, Emirates is giving the US airlines fresh blood in the fight, and it’s challenging Trump to step up. Maybe Trump will respect this kind of strength. We know he likes it in Putin. Or maybe this will be the spark to encourage him to shut down the long term plans of the Middle East carriers. It could go well or it could go very poorly. Apparently Emirates thinks this is a wise gamble.

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113 Comments on "Emirates Plays With Fire, Announces Newark to Athens Flight"

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rob382
Member
If you don’t like it, don’t fly it. Really simple. Honestly, what is it with you people. For years UA/DL/AA have been ripping us off. High fares, dirty old aircraft, appalling service. And Americans complain and complain. So along comes a carrier(s) with amazing fares, amazing aircraft, amazing service, giving the folk in the Land of the Free a competitive choice and all you can do is knock it down. “Oh, waah waah waah but they are subsidised! Waah Waah Waah”. Who the hell cares how they run their business ( And I note, none of the US carriers were… Read more »
A
Guest
“So along comes a carrier(s) with amazing fares, amazing aircraft, amazing service, giving the folk in the Land of the Free a competitive choice and all you can do is knock it down.” Have you flown Emirates in “cattle class” with their 10 across seating on a 777. I’m sorry but if I’m not business class I’ll take a DELTA flight with 9 across seating anytime over Emirates. I’ve heard excellent things about the ME3 for their premium product, which comes with a hefty price and why I have yet to share in that experience. When it comes to economy… Read more »
Doug Swalen
Guest

I have flown EK in cattle car 10 across and none of the US carriers could match the service and on board product I got on that flight…even in Economy. It’s actually a bit more level playing field in the upper classes.

southbay flier
Guest

I’ve seen a 10 across cabin on a 777 and I will never, ever, ever consider flying in that seat. That’s one reason why I would never consider EK

A
Guest
I guess ones perception of the economy product on EK is more qualitative but my opinion is they don’t beat DL at the overall on board product in Y class on a 777. Seat width, pitch, overall comfort was a clear DL advantage and wins over having a gorgeous flight attendants. All the soft products in Y are a wash between the two and personal preference. Honestly I want to know what the real tangible edge that EK has outside of offering money losing fares. Seeing the Dubai airport. Meh… Believe it or not US legacy carriers are not what… Read more »
dcasafety
Member
A Before you critize EK’s “money losing fares”, you might want to research. They have been profitable since the 2nd year of business almost 30 years ago and contrary to the rhetoric from the US airlines (of which I flew for one for 20 years), EK does not receive government support. A few years ago, QANTAS accused EK of the government support and EK invited QF to come “examine the books”. In exchange, EK wanted to see the QF books. QF declined and backed off. As for the subsidy argument, ALL US airlines have received gov’t subsidies too. It’s call… Read more »
dcasafety
Member
Brett, While you are technically correct, any government action that eliminates debt is a subsidy in my opinion. I was PROUD that AA hung in there for so long before declaring but in the end, they had to level the playing field and filed. In the end, “government” action eliminated the debt. I also agree with you on QATAR and Ethiad. The funds are free flowing into their accounts but EK is the exception. I loved your post on the Athens service. Having lived with that company (literally) for 2.5 years and watched the operation from the front left seat… Read more »
Mike Power
Member
Bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily allow you to remove debt. It allows you to reorganize debts and obligations and in many cases the debt holders ended up with equity in the airline–the investors get hosed. Oh and your cost of capital goes up–so if anything Bankruptcy hurts the cost process compared to what a new airline would have to pay for debt service. Its only been in the last 18 months that Delta got its debt to “investment grade” while UA and AA are still paying more. To the extent that bankruptcy helped any of the US airlines, it was in reducing… Read more »
Oliver
Guest

“Who the hell cares how they run their busines”

I the hell do.

Hov
Guest

“Who the hell cares how they run their business…”

As a liberal, I care very much and try to be conscientious how I spend my money to make sure I support corporations that treat their people fairly. There is well documented concerns about the working conditions faced by employees of ME3 carriers, as well as documented human rights abuses by the countries they are based in.
So @Robbo what you perceive as American whining might better be characterized as trying to be an enlightened consumer who spends appropriately based on individual values.

Doug Swalen
Guest

None of the US Airlines are going to go to war with the ME3 over their working conditions in their country.

southbay flier
Guest

I don’t understand why. Those labor conditions would be absolutely unacceptable in the US and EU. It would be a good way to drum up support against the ME3.

haolenate
Guest

why? because some of their work rules are reflective of U.S. Airlines work rules in the 1960s?

southbay flier
Guest

Yeah. Pretty much. Plus, the flight attendants live in closely guarded quarters and are really not allowed to go out even on their off days.

rob382
Member

If you’d rather pay a lot more for a lot less because your feelings are hurt, that’s your choice mate. I choose to pay less for better service, newer aircraft and brilliant service. On top of all that, let me feel safer in he ME carriers than I do on the US based carriers. Waaah, Waaah , Waaah

brandonclewis
Member
+1 for Robbo. Consumers have the choice and as Spirit has proven, price will win. Further, with the current globalization of airlines this was bound to happen. I fail to see how this is much different than Etihad taking over Alitalia. The plane may say Alitalia, but it’s Etihad pulling the strings. Same with Norwegian. The plane says Norwegian, but its Norwegian Long Haul (based in Ireland). The way the open skies agreement is written these type of airlines and routes are permitted despite the objections of unions (saying this as a union member, too). It’s time to decide as… Read more »
Oliver
Guest

So Etihad is pulling Alitalia’s strings (or as Cranky might say, sinks money into the bottomless pit of the worst airline ever). Worked out not so great in the case of Air Berlin, by the way.

But Delta is pulling the or at least some strings at Virgin Atlantic. And there are other similar examples that escape me and I am too lazy to google right now.

Joey Jaidee
Guest

You don’t know what you are talking about. When has the government subsidized ual?? When specifically and how??

In 2003 when Ual was well and truly in the shit the govt rejected a loan deal. Maybe if you spout it enough it will be true.

Joey Jaidee
Guest

That response was to Robb btw. Don’t know why it showed up down here.

barbismike
Member

Why not run the route from JFK? Why Newark?

Xnuiem
Member

EWR is a DL hub…and DL is leading the charge against the ME 3. They are by far the most vocal and adversarial of the domestic carriers.

Could this be vindictive? It doesn’t make any sense on its own right, so why not?

A
Guest

EWR is a United hub, acquired when they merged with CO. I would argue this is a slap at all 3 US legacy carriers since they all serve Europe out of NYC area airports.

JoEllen
Guest

EWR is far from a DL hub. Try United.

Oliver
Guest

34 miles as the car drives. Not that far :)

Scott
Member

Obviously you’ve never driven in NYC traffic.

Oliver
Guest

LOL. I actually once had a change of airport, arriving into JFK from Europe and departing from EWR. Smart idea. not!

Joey Jaidee
Guest

Yeah but it takes you 2 hours and $15 in tools to do it!!! Ewr is a joke if you live on the wrong side of manhattan.

Joey Jaidee
Guest

Should be tolls. Damned auto correct.

noahkimmel
Member
my guess is that this is a way for them to form a beach-head. Do it from JFK, and it looks like you are abusing 5th freedom. Delta could argue not needed given MXP and non-stop options. Do it from EWR with no other service, and you can claim you need ATH to feed DXB which gives more choice to consumers by opening routes and creating competition. Once you do this from a few cities, then you have enough 5th freedom precedent to expand it. It also lets Emirates go after the EWR-based india traffic which currently connects in europe… Read more »
Tim Dunn
Member
by that logic, the US automakers should garner none of Trump’s favor but that is not what is happening. American jobs are American jobs and airline industry jobs are above-average in compensation. Trump’s administration needs to put to rest the notion that the ME3 keep throwing out that they are free to abuse US markets and violate free trade because they buy Boeing jets with GE engines. Guess what, so do a whole lot of other airlines including in Europe and Asia and they don’t see buying American as giving them license to run roughshod over their American competitors. Further,… Read more »
Jason Rabinowitz
Guest

Probably for the same reason Norwegian is branching out to EWR from JFK for its upcoming BCN route. JFK is jam packed at peak hours, and more importantly, is slot controlled. The FAA recently removed the slot restrictions at EWR, and it has been a free for all of airlines moving in to EWR recently.

dcasafety
Member

Because no one flies that route now from EWR and it opens up New Jersey to better service. The cargo alone will probably pay for the operational costs and there is no competition unlike JFK.

IO
Member

imo, an intriguing study.

catherine.burnett
Member
Emirates doesn’t do anything without foresight, so I think this is a chance to “poke the bear” early on in the new Cabinet’s administration. Especially with the changeover of DOT and DOJ leadership, maybe Chao and Rosenstein don’t know enough about the case against the Middle East 3 to think this is a shot across the bow (although as an FAA employee, we have been writing briefing papers for the incoming administration for several months now, as I suspect all other offices are doing). I think Emirates’ timing is exactly what it wants it to be, and whether this route… Read more »
rob382
Member

Here, here. For years the lazy Obama administration did bugger-all. Good on EK for getting in while the tide is changing. It’s called being competitive. The USA invented it. That’s why the rest of the world looks up to it. But don’t complain when an outsider beats you, easily, at your own game. In the past 12 months I have flown QR out of ATL, BOS, JFK, LAX, all full. All flights, 100% chocca. So even the Yanks are voting with their wallets.

Oliver
Guest

Full != profitable. Any fool can fill an airplane with cheap enough fares.

Itami
Guest
I think we have a new entry for CF’s top 10 photo edits. Anyhow, this is probably illustrative of EK’s transatlantic 5th freedom strategy going forward: find EU countries with weak home carriers and/or relatively limited air links to the US and launch continuing flights from there. MXP was probably the best market fitting that strategy. ATH is one of the next best. After that, it would probably be somewhere in Eastern Europe. Romania? Hungary? The Czech Republic? It’s not like the Germans and the French will play ball with something like this. I have no doubt they’ll burn a… Read more »
TimH
Member
I think the entire point is that this flight pairing makes no economic sense, and so won’t have any appreciable effect on Delta or United’s numbers for the route. Both DL and UA probably count on feeder traffic for a lot of the seats on their EWR-ATH routes, and those people won’t fly on Emirates. The fact that the timing isn’t great is just icing on the cake: this isn’t a particularly tempting flight for many people. If Emirates were serious about a New York-Athens flight, they’d do it out of JFK where at least JetBlue could send them some… Read more »
catherine.burnett
Member

Agreed, TimH!

noahkimmel
Member

yes….only strengthens the argument that they are pro-customer / competition / new routes

Itami
Guest
Isn’t the crux of the US3’s argument that these alleged subsidies let ME3 carriers grow in ways that aren’t economically sustainable or sensible? If that’s the case, then the rationale you said would only make the US3’s case that much easier. What’s in dispute isn’t which airline has a better product or whether consumers benefit from low fares. If a company is dumping, then they’re dumping. Simple as that. If this route isn’t financially sound either on a standalone basis or to feed the network in DXB, then EK is paying to shoot itself in the foot politically. I’ve always… Read more »
noahkimmel
Member

Hard to prove injury / harm if they fly routes no one else wants

TimH
Member
I think in order to win legal battles against ME3 carriers, short of a “smoking gun” that proves massive subsidies, the US-based carriers will need to show that there are *likely *subsidies, and that those subsidies are causing harm. A reasonable defense on EK’s part would be “look, we don’t actually harm traffic for your precious carriers.” I’m not saying that it’ll work, or that I don’t think that they do get illegal subsidies that distort the market, but if you’re in EK’s position you have to do what you can to win, and that this is one way of… Read more »
Tim Dunn
Member
If Emirates did launch this route at the request of the Greek government in order to increase access to the US during the winter, the new route highlights the problems with aviation in Europe. Greek aviation along with much of Greek business is a financial disaster; US airlines only want to fly to Greece in the summer when American tourists and their dollars pay for the tickets. Emirates has long built its business model around patronizing to Europeans including buying the majority of the world’s A380s. Problem is that the route ends in the US and the US absolutely does… Read more »
David SF eastbay
Guest

Having worked for TWA who flew to Athens for decades, it’s not really a money maker and mostly tourist travel as mentioned. But the U.S. carriers will act like EK is starting 20 flights a day between NY and London. If it was such an important high volumn/high dollar market, the U.S. carriers would be in there daily with a couple of flights.

Wandering Aramean
Guest

And, FWIW, the trade group representing the US carriers already issued its “call to arms” on this, specifically naming Trump and calling on him to squash the existing open skies treaty. Given his willingness to kill other treaties to which the US is a signatory the risk here is real.

cblock2
Member

There are limits to what Trump can do without Congressional consent. TPP was an unusual case because it had not been ratified by the Senate, so Trump could act unilaterally. A treaty that is fully ratified will require legislative action to withdraw from or amend.

dcasafety
Member

Brett,
When I was first hired by EK, we used to fly A-340s from JFK-HAM-DXB. MXP was not the first one.

SEAN
Guest

So much for “free market” principles.

Eric Morris
Guest
I am no fan of Trump, but he is not an is not an isolationist. Isolationism: the policy or doctrine of isolating one’s country from the affairs of other nations by declining to enter into alliances, foreign economic commitments, international agreements, etc., seeking to devote the entire efforts of one’s country to its own advancement and remain at peace by avoiding foreign entanglements and responsibilities. Does not square with this part of his statement when withdrawing from TPP: “This action ushers in a new era of U.S. trade policy in which the Trump Administration will pursue bilateral free trade opportunities… Read more »
Oliver
Guest

Not even Trump knows what he is. Or perhaps I should say, what he is going to be today.

Eric Morris
Guest

I agree with you.

Doug Swalen
Guest

That statement was fig leaf cover to paper over the gravity of the move he just made in blowing up the traditional economic alliances in the Pacific Rim the U.S. had enjoyed for decades. Until now.

Trump is still more of an isolationist than a free marketer and will remain so until he proves otherwise by his actions…not the windbag puffery of his rhetoric.

john
Guest

Can someone explain the legality of starting 5th freedom rights? Who has to approve? How can Emirates just announce it and fly it? If noone has to approve, then how can they then be “denied”.
Someone mentioned that France and Germany would not allow these types of flights. So the third party country is the one that has to approve?

How come Delta shut down Caribbean Airlines (Trinidad based) attempt to do JFK-GEO direct flights? Under what rule?

Itami
Guest
5th freedom rights are determined based on the air service treaties between entities. Between the US and the EU, the current Open Skies treaty allows for both sides’ carriers to launch 5th freedom flights from the other party’s territory. If United wanted to fly FRA-CAI for example, they could do so assuming the Egyptian government was okay with it. However, unlike the US, the UAE doesn’t have an air services agreement with the EU as a whole as I understand it. European traffic rights for UAE carriers are thus determined at a country by country level. Germany is particularly restrictive… Read more »
MB
Member

IMO, the bankruptcy protections granted to US airlines are no different than the subsidies ME carriers receive. At time of lower fuel prices, US carriers should compete rather than bemoaning the situation.

Oliver
Guest

The subsidies presumably benefit the owners of the ME carriers. How much did the owners (shareholders) of the bankrupt US airlines benefit?

Seth
Guest

I would point out that the alleged provider of subsidies to the ME carriers, their home governments, are also the owners of the ME carriers.

If you think about the US carriers’ owners, or shareholders, they provided a HUGE subsidy during bankruptcy by giving up or severely reducing their economic interest in the airlines.

Tim Dunn
Member

they gained nothing in return… you can’t say that about the Middle East governments.

Bill from DC
Guest
They gained the ability to better compete by discarding pesky pension obligations, unilaterally rewriting labor contracts, etc. Government picked up the tab on some of the pension obligations, their employees and former employees “paid” for the rest of it via reduced pay and benefits. Regardless, a massive subsidy. And that doesn’t even begin to include state and local level subsidies and incentives (aka give aways) to airlines to locate jobs in a certain market fly in a certain market, etc. The US3 are loaded with their own types of subsidies. In the analysis of whether competition is “fair, ” it… Read more »
Bill from DC
Guest

Good point but is that their sole source of funding?

Unfortunately the employees and retirees seem to bear the greatest burden after the general creditors. Regardless, bankruptcy restructuring under US law is a massive subsidy.

Tim Dunn
Member
to add on to CF’s correct statement, lower salaries are not subsidies and if they are, then the ME3 and many other airlines subsidize their operations through lower salaries than US and European carriers pay. It isn’t hard to see why so many East Asian carriers have very high quality products; when you allow employees to be terminated at a young age/years of service, then labor costs are going to be lower because young, fresh employees are constantly coming in at entry level wages which are already lower than what US or European pay (and a few other developed countries… Read more »
Oliver
Guest

I wonder how much this new route has to do with Emirates having too many new aircraft coming in and not enough “good” ideas for new routes.

letstry2
Member

TWA and Pan AM did the exact same thing with there flights from the Middle and Far East through London,Paris,Frankfurt and Rome and no one ever complained. If Delta,United and American have a problem with it maybe they just need to do the same and let the service provided decide who gets the passengers. I’m sure Athens would be more than happy to receive the extra flights even if there not generating that many passengers.

USBT
Guest
Meanwhile, down the road in Abu Dhabi, the government seems to have realized that a ton of that state aid put into Etihad has been wasted, vis-a-vis Air Berlin and Alitalia and possibly Virgin Australia. CEO James Hogan has been given the boot, and there are rumors abound about a tie up with Lufthansa, possibly leading to a JV. That could play well for United, as could the new Qatar/BA JV for American. Delta and Air France/KLM are left out a bit but they’re cultivating a nice little relationship with Jet Airways at AMS, CDG and LHR. I’m with the… Read more »
Oliver
Guest

So the air is escaping from the Etihad balloon?

Ben in DC
Guest
I’m sure I’m going to have people unload on me for this, but I have an honest question: Is what the ME3 are doing to the US legacies really any different than them picking on smaller airlines? Take the situation in Seattle. Delta basically stabbed a long-time partner in the back and is now cramming more and more flights into the market than it needs. Delta is probably losing money there right now, but they are a huge airline that can spread those losses out, especially if they end up wiping out a competitor who probably can’t survive if it… Read more »
USBT
Guest

In your hypothetical case (because Alaska has most certainly not been crushed) the argument can be made that that competition is based on both airlines working under the same labor laws and workers’ rights. Plus if airline B were to contract and jobs get shed, airline A would expand and would create jobs. So essentially a zero sum game. Also, an airline like DL/UA and AA couldn’t continue to lose money on too many routes because Wall Street would notice.

Ben in DC
Guest

I never said Alaska was being crushed, I said they were being bullied by a much larger Delta. I said Alaska could eventually get wiped out, but I didn’t mean to make it sound like it was imminent. But I’d also argue that the ME3 have a long ways to go before they inflict any real harm on the big 3. To me, the talk about serious job losses is an overblown worst case scenario from 3 airlines that are enjoying recent profitability and who want to see as little competition as possible.

Tim Dunn
Member
bullied, really? Alaska has dropped fares in order to retain share… Delta couldn’t have done that. Do you realize that DL’s average fare in a number of markets including its marquee LAX-SEA route are higher than AS? AS has been dumping capacity into the market in order to maintain share and has pushed down its own average fares. You do realize that AS has not lost a whole lot of share in Seattle; DL’s share has actually come from other airlines including UA and WN which decided to not get in the middle of the crossfire? Finally please provide data… Read more »
dcasafety
Member

Ben in DC
I really like your well thought out posting but I offer one thought. I don’t really think EK can be accused of “really cheap flights”…. This is not a Norwegian or Ryan Air type of operation and their profits seem to support they receive maximum yields on the routes they fly. Otherwise, I think you are “Spot On”.

Ben in Texas

Aussie flyer
Member

I wish them all the best. I am Australian who has taken Emirate multiple times in both the 777 and the a380 in economy. Emirates provides excellent options for getting the New Zealand via 5th freedoms. They also travel via Singapore and BKK for some flights from Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane. They have been doing it for years and it is entirely uncontroversial here. TBH too they generally aren’t the cheapest option.

The competition will hopefully keep UA, DL and AA on their feet.

Jim
Guest

Perhaps Emirates is intentionally launching fifth freedom flights to the US with routes that are likely to have low loads and not make a lot of money, so that they can make the government think they are not much of a threat to US airlines. Once the public gets used to it, they can expand to busier routes, and it will be harder to turn back the clock at that point.

dcasafety
Member

Jim, EK does not fly routes they expect a financial loss on. I fear your suggestion is more emotional than based on the faces of 28 years of constant profits. Even during the “bad times”.

Jim
Guest

dcasafety, how do you know that? Have they stated this or is it speculation?

dcasafety
Member
Jim, I flew Captain for EK for 2.5 years and the route info was published within the company. When I was there, it was interesting because the most profitable routes were Moscow-Dubai and Lagos-Dubai. I can’t say every route was profitable but having watched the decisions first hand, I can assure you that profits were the major motivator for fleet decisions and routes. Before EK, I flew for a US legacy carrier for 20 years and watched that disaster first hand. I retired early (age 53) before the pensions and benefits were killed in bankruptcy court.
Michael
Guest

If the US3 want to argue about EK competing unfairly because of government subsidies, fine.

But DL operates a hub at NRT, with flights to many destinations in the pacific on DL metal with DL crew. I could very well be missing something here, but how is that any different than EK flying EWR-ATH? In these cases, neither airline touches their home country.

Oliver
Guest

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/26474880-post3.html

As Cranky called it above, spoils of war.

Bill from DC
Guest

Good point but they are pretty much shutting down that hub, it’s already been stripped of most of its flights from NRT to other Asian destinations.

Oliver
Guest

It also was a hub that aggregated passengers from various destinations that may not have had enough demand otherwise. Not the case in Athens. It also was created at a time where non-stop flights to some of the deeper Asian destinations weren’t viable (technically or economically). Not the case with Athens.

Bill from DC
Guest

Very true.

Tim Dunn
Member

The rights which DL and UA have used and still do are matched by similar rights which Japanese carriers have – whether they currently operate them or not. You do remember that JL operated NRT-JFK-MEX for years?

Tim Dunn
Member

correction…. NRT-JFK-GRU

Arun
Member

Anyone thinking EK started this flight to fill it with Greece bound tourists don’t know the demographics of the route… New Jersey has a large South Asian population, this is just a means for them to ferry a full flight to India, Pakistan and other countries via Athens. Do a quick flight search from Newark to any Indian city and see that EK has very good prices for South Asian destinations. This flight certainly will not be loss making or empty.

Itami
Guest

If they weren’t looking to rely on Greece-bound tourists, they’d have launched a nonstop to DXB a while ago. It’s not like anything was stopping them.

*Obligatory Full Flights Profitable warning*

Itami
Guest

*Full flights != Profitable*

Arun
Member

Sure, they can launch a non-stop from Newark, or Philly or anywhere.. that wasn’t my point. My point is the decision to extend the Athens flight from Dubai to Newark was only made easier by the fact that it would provide more passengers for EK to link to India due to the high Asian population there.

TFG
Guest

So let me get this straight — You don’t think the flight is good for connections and the flight times aren’t great and yet you think this is a big enough competitive threat that U.S. carriers should be all up in arms about it?

Tim Dunn
Member
And to make clear-which hasn’t really been said in this discussion – that the reason why the US3 are going to be as upset about this route as they are about JFK-MXP-DXB is because EK will continue to find reasons why they should be allowed to operate flights between just one more city pair between the US and Europe and the list will keep growing and will soon include the top transatlantic markets – and then will include transpacific routes and on and on it will go. As was noted above, EK’s model is running out of steam because the… Read more »
dan
Guest

question is…will it benefit MOST americans? answer=NO…it is another step in opening the floodgate…to let ME3 take the same paths as the cruise boat or steel industry in the USA…same goes for norweigian

InformedFlyer
Guest

But Emirates IS selling connections in ATH on a single ticket. Flights are operated by Olympic Air. Their site let’s you price out EWR-ATH-JTR for example.

Voxkel
Guest

What EK needs to do is to make a EWR-DXB nonstop. There is very high South Asian population in NJ and I would imagine EWR-AMD/BOM/HYD would do very well through DXB.

jboekhoud
Member

True, but it’s a low-margin market whose passengers tend to be price sensitive. They’ll take a two-stop on Emirates out of EWR over a non-stop on Air India from JFK or a one-stop in Europe if the price is right.

iahphx
Member
This is just another example of there being something “wrong” with the way Emirates operates. Basically, you can deny subsidies all you want (although there’s tons of evidence that they do receive billions in gov’t support) but if you keep doing things that no other airline would do, it kind of proves their opponents’ point. This route is a stone cold loser. There are only 11 million people in Greece. It’s not a business capital. The only way a nonstop route is justified is on in-bound tourism, and there’s no freakin’ reason to visit Greece when it’s not late spring/summer/early… Read more »
iahphx
Member

Oh, in my diatribe, I forgot to mention feed. AA and UA have tons of feed at PHL and EWR (most of the entire USA) and they can’t make this route work off-season. And now Emirates can make it work year-round with no feed? Yeah, right. The tooth fairy and Santa Claus are way more believable.

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