The move is one part of a raft of recent adjustments by the Dubai-based carrier to its US services.
The airline is launching a nonstop Dubai-New York Newark service from June 1 and plans to resume daily services to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, Florida, from March 25.
Houston has been part of Emirates’ route network since December 2007, but the A380 that was brought onto the service in December 2014 was replaced with a Boeing 777-300ER in July 2016, when the global oil price was slumping.
International services to Houston, one of the world’s centers for the oil industry, are susceptible to lower oil prices, which tend to produce lower activity in the hydrocarbon sector. This is reflected in less international travel between the Texan city and oil-producing areas such as the Middle East and nations surrounding the North Sea.
With the energy sector recovering, Emirates has decided to reinstate the A380, in line with commercial demand.
The Emirates A380 on the Houston route will offer 516 seats: 14 private suites in first class, 76 flatbed seats in business class and 426 in economy. This gives more than 160 extra seats compared to the Boeing 777-300ER.
Emirates currently serves 12 points in the US. Given the long-running discontent among some US majors over unfair competition by Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways—which all three carriers deny—Emirates stressed as it announced the return of the A380 that of the 80-plus destinations on its Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific network, 67 are not directly served by any US carrier.
(Alan Dron - ATWOnline News)