United Airlines has launched a direct flight to Dubai, making it the first US carrier to fly non-stop to the UAE since 2016.
Flight number UA 164 took off on Saturday evening and landed at Dubai International Airport ahead of schedule, touching down just after 6pm on Sunday.
The Boeing 777’s arrival marked the first of daily passenger flights between Dubai and New York.
United Airlines’ non-stop flight from Dubai to the US is scheduled to depart on Tuesday. Flight number UA 163 will operate from Emirates’ Terminal 3 at Dubai International at 1.55am.
Travellers flying in the Polaris business-class cabins on the 13-and-a-half-hour journey will be given Saks Fifth Avenue bedding, noise-reducing headphones and pyjamas upon request.
The aircraft also has 24 premium plus seats, 46 economy plus seats and 156 spaces in economy.
“We are thrilled to welcome United Airlines back to Dubai International with the launch of their new non-stop daily service from New York/Newark,” said Majed Al Joker, chief operating officer of Dubai Airports.
The new service comes after Emirates and United Airlines signed a codeshare agreement last year. In September, the respective airlines hosted an event in Washington to announce their agreement, stating that it would “terrify our competitors” with non-stop flights between Newark and Dubai included in the deal.
As part of the agreement, since November, Emirates passengers flying to Chicago, Houston and San Francisco have been able to connect to United flights to and from some 200 cities across the Americas on a single ticket. Direct flights from Newark to Dubai are also expected to boost US tourism to the emirates.
Issam Kazim, chief executive of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “This direct route opened by United Airlines will pave the way for an increased flow of leisure and business travellers to Dubai from the United States, an important North American market, which shows ongoing opportunities for growth.”
United first began flying to the UAE 15 years ago. In 2016, the airline ceased operating to Dubai citing overcapacity from Emirates.
Updated: March 27, 2023, 10:47 AM