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Emirates and the US

Emirates and the US

The United States is a key growing market in Emirates' global network. Emirates commenced non stop passenger flights between Dubai and New York JFK in June 2004 and since then has expanded to Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas/Fort Worth, Seattle, Washington, DC, Boston, Chicago, Orlando, Newark and Miami.

In total, we operate 96 passenger flights per week between Dubai and the US – four times daily to New York with two direct flights and one each via Milan and Athens; daily to Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC, and five weekly flights to Orlando. With the addition of the Athens Newark flight in March 2017, Emirates’ US Europe market share in terms of weekly frequencies and seats remains below 1%. Emirates operates the Boeing 777 to seven of its US destinations. It also operates the Airbus A380, powered by US made Engine Alliance engines to Houston, Los Angeles, New York JFK, San Francisco and Washington, DC. 

In FY2022-23, Emirates carried nearly 3.2 million passengers on its US routes with an average seat factor of 77%. For the US economy, Emirates delivers high yield tourists and business travellers from important developing markets in the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. 

Emirates SkyCargo’s current US freighter network includes services to Chicago, Columbus, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami. In FY2022-23, over 1,900 tonnes of life saving drugs and sensitive pharma products were delivered through ‘Emirates Pharma’ out of Chicago and 1,200 tonnes of lobster was flown from Boston. Emirates also carried items such as oil and gas equipment out of Houston and medical supplies out of Los Angeles. 

Emirates helps to link the US with emerging markets that will further drive American economic growth, trade and job creation including 14 points in the Middle East, 20 points in Africa, and 43 points in Asia Pacific.

Read more about Emirates’ operations in our factsheet 'Emirates and the US'(Opens a PDF in a new tab) and 'Creating value for the U.S'(Opens a PDF in a new tab).

The US Open Skies debate

Emirates has been serving the US since 2004, offering American consumers, communities and exporting companies direct flights to more than 50 cities not directly served by any American carrier. We proudly contribute to the goals of Open Skies which are: greater competition, increased flight frequency, promotion of business travel and tourism, improved service, customer-centric innovation, and consumer choice.

In 2015, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines embarked on a campaign asserting that Emirates had received subsidies from the Government of Dubai in violation of the United States-United Arab Emirates Open Skies Agreement. However, Emirates’ response at the time, which was also shared with the United States Government, systematically disproved all the allegations.

Below you can read the full rebuttal and other documents:

Economic benefits of Emirates flights

A study by Campbell-Hill shows Emirates’ impact in the US is substantial: a total of USD 21.3 billion in revenue contributed to the US economy, including the creation of USD 10.5 billion in GDP and USD 6.4 billion in labour income, and more than 104,000 jobs supported.

*Annual Impact based on 2015 data and operations

To view the press release, executive summary and full report, along with an infographic that highlights the key findings of the study, please click on the links below.

Analysis by US airports and regions

Independent analysis by various US airports and regions show that in addition to offering passengers and shippers more competitive and convenient air service options, our flights produce substantial economic and job benefits for the US cities that we serve.

In November 2014, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey completed an assessment of the economic impact of Emirates' operation in New York. Their assessment estimated that Emirates' triple daily flights to and from JFK in 2013 supported 3,720 jobs in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region, with USD 190 million in wages as well as USD 530 million in total regional activity.

A study by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation found that a long-haul flight such as ours to Los Angeles International Airport generates USD 623.5 million in annual benefits to the US economy, sustains 3,120 direct and indirect jobs in Southern California and produces USD 156 million in annual wages.

Houston Airport System and the University of Houston modelled the impact of the launch of a daily Emirates flight to Houston on the US economy. The results showed the expected benefits would be USD 257 million a year as well as 98,000 new passengers a year travelling to or through Houston. The Emirates flight was also predicted to produce USD 300 million in economic benefits annually for the Dallas/Fort Worth region in terms of additional visitors, business ties and investments, according to DFW Airport estimates.

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority estimates Emirates’ Orlando service will generate more than USD 140 million in annual economic activity and supports over 1,400 jobs, which could increase to USD 188 million with an aircraft upgrade.

The estimated total annual local economic value to nine of the 12 airports and surrounding regions Emirates flies to in the US reaches USD 3 billion.

Emirates’ airline partnerships

Emirates’ partnerships in the US bring about combined benefits for passengers, US partner carriers and US communities. Emirates signed a commercial agreement with United Airlines in 2022, which includes a codeshare partnership as well as frequent flyer awards and lounge sharing benefits for eligible customers. In addition, Emirates currently has interline agreements with Alaska Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Sun Country Airlines and Silver Airways, feeding hundreds of passengers daily onto their domestic networks. In 2022, over 122,000 Emirates passengers connected onto US partner airlines.

US-UAE bilateral ties

The US and the UAE enjoy strong commercial and political ties. The UAE has one of the fastest growing trade relationships with the US and remains the top US export destination in the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for 14 years in a row. In 2022, US exports to the UAE reached USD 20.8 billion and supported an estimated 105,976 American jobs*. The US had a USD 13.9 billion trade surplus with the UAE, its sixth largest globally in 2022. UAE exports to the US grew 10% over 2021, amounting to USD 6.9 billion.

*Calculated using the 2019 U.S. Department of Commerce jobs multiplier 5,095 jobs per USD 1 billion exports.

US top 10 MENA export markets in 2022:

MENA countryExport value (USD billion)Export market ranking% change over 2021
United Arab Emirates20.842122%
Saudi Arabia11.40322%

Source: US Census Bureau

Longstanding US aerospace partners

In November 2013, Emirates placed an order for 150 Boeing 777X aircraft worth USD 76 billion at list prices including 300 units of GE Aviation’s GE9X engines, writing another chapter in Emirates’ long history with the Boeing 777 family. This was the single largest order by value in the history of US commercial aviation, and also GE Aviation’s largest ever commercial jet engine contract from an airline.

In November 2015, Emirates signed a USD 16 billion contract with GE Aviation for the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of the GE9X engines that will power the Boeing 777X aircraft over a period of 12 years. This is Emirates’ largest engine MRO contract to date.

During the Dubai Airshow 2019, Emirates announced a full purchase agreement for 30 Boeing 787-9 aircraft worth USD 8.8 billion at list prices, by substituting some 777X aircraft under the terms of the agreement with Boeing. The new Boeing aircraft will enable Emirates to retain one of the youngest fleets globally as they will be replacing some of the older 777s.

The Boeing 777 is the backbone of the Emirates fleet, with 133 passenger aircraft currently in service, the most of any airline, which are powered largely by GE Aviation engines, and another 150 next generation Boeing aircraft including the 777X, 787 and 777-200LR freighter aircraft on order.

Emirates’ total order book for Boeing aircraft since 1991 stands at 346 aircraft. According to the 2019 US Department of Commerce’s jobs multipliers based on year of order, Emirates’ total aircraft, engine and MRO orders (past and current) with Boeing and GE Aviation have sustained nearly one million American jobs.