Emirates to operate transatlantic from Milan

8 Apr 2013 by Alex McWhirter

The Italian government has granted Emirates ‘fifth freedom’ (see note below) traffic rights to operate between Milan Malpensa and New York JFK.

The new daily service, to be operated by a three-class B777-300ER, gets under way on October 1. It will offer more choice for business people flying the route and Emirates will be the only carrier to offer a first class cabin.

Currently the three carriers plying the route, namely Alitalia, Delta and American Airlines, have business class as their best onboard product.

Emirates will, arguably, operate the best plane type. By comparison Alitalia plies the route with an A330 while Delta and America both operate versions of the B767.

Says Tim Clark, president of Emirates, “Operating a transatlantic route has been on our agenda for some time. The route is currently underserved, particularly with a strong premium product offering, and this is where we see a clear opening for Emirates.”

Emirates’ B777-300ER accommodates eight passengers in first, 42 in business and 310 in economy class.

Flight EK205 will depart Dubai at 0905 to arrive into Malpensa at 1350. Following a departure at 1600, the service will land into JFK at 1900.

Return flight EK206 will depart JFK at 2220 and arrive into Malpensa at 1215. It will depart at 1400 and arrive back into Dubai at 2205.

All told it means that, from the autumn, Emirates will be operating three daily flights linking Dubai with New York. The one-stopper via Milan will complement Emirates twice daily non-stop A380 services.

Malpensa, Milan’s main international gateway, is an interesting facility in that it is located close to the Swiss border. 

It means it is as popular with fussy Swiss travellers as it is with Italians. That is because Lugano in Ticino, the nearest Swiss airport to Milan, cannot handle any long-haul flights because of its short runway. So Swiss Ticino passengers use Malpensa because it avoids a plane change elsewhere.

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Report by Alex McWhirter

Note:  ‘Fifth freedom’ means that an airline of a third country is allowed to carry passengers between two other countries.

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