Emirates has announced that by the end of 2014, passengers will be flying between Houston and Dubai aboard the Airbus A380 aircraft. Beginning on December 3, Emirates’ passengers at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) will travel aboard the iconic double-decker A380, an aircraft configured to accommodate almost 500 people.
“Houston is definitely seeing the future of the aviation industry unfold before them, especially in regards to international travel,” said Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz. “Houston already has the distinction of being the first city in Texas to offer scheduled air service with the A380 aircraft and we are proud to take the next step with Emirates in building upon that solid foundation.”
Houston welcomed its first A380 aircraft in August 2012 when service to Frankfurt, Germany was upgraded by a fellow foreign flag carrier operating at IAH. The Houston to Dubai route has traditionally featured service aboard the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
Leaders with Emirates announced the enhanced Houston service alongside a similar announcement focusing on their route between San Francisco and Dubai.
“Emirates continues to see strong customer demand from our U.S. gateways. Since 2007, we have carried over 2.3 million passengers on the San Francisco and Houston routes, and our flagship A380 will allow us to connect even more people and facilitate trade between these important U.S. cities and the Middle East, India, Africa and beyond.” said Hubert Frach, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations West. “Everywhere we fly our A380, we receive a tremendously positive customer response, thanks to the unique, award-winning product and service which Emirates offers passenger in all cabins. We look forward to bringing this experience to our customers in San Francisco and Houston.”
The A380 service in Houston will offer passengers an additional 137 seats. This represents a 38 percent increase in overall passenger capacity, and 80 percent more seats across the premium cabins. In addition to offering a choice of 14 First Class Private Suites and 76 lie-flat Business Class seats, the aircraft offers 401 spacious Economy Class seats.
The entire upper deck of an Emirates A380 is dedicated to its premium First Class and Business Class cabins, creating a relaxed and exclusive space. Even at 40,000 feet, the two First Class Shower Spas allow passengers to arrive feeling refreshed. First Class and Business Class passengers connect in the popular A380 Onboard Lounge to relax, socialize and network over fine wines and cocktails while enjoying canapés prepared by five-star chefs.
Emirates started flying to Houston in December 2007, directly connecting the city with the energy sector hubs in Dubai and the Middle East. Since then, Emirates has seen steady growth in business and leisure travelers, thanks to the city’s strong international community and corporate industries and last year connected more than 190,000 people and over 7,900 tons of cargo from a range of industries including the construction and automotive sectors.
Emirates' daily flight EK211 to Houston departs Dubai at 9:30 a.m. and arrives at 4:05 p.m. The return flight, EK212, takes off from George Bush Intercontinental Airport at 6:25 p.m. and lands in Dubai at 7:05 p.m. the next day (all times local).