Emirates Celebrates 10 Years Of 5th Freedom Milan-New York Flights

Since 2013, over 1.8 million passengers have traveled with Emirates between Italy and the United States.

UAE-based Emirates is celebrating a decade of services between its Italian fifth freedom outpost, Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP), and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

Since its launch in 2013, the route has carried over 1.8 million passengers and 37,000 tonnes of cargo across 6,000 flights, strengthening the Northern Italian fashion hub’s connection with the United States.

Flights alla moda

With sustained demand, Emirates operates the flight daily with its flagship Airbus A380 superjumbo, providing easy access, comfortable seating, and capacity between the two cities. The carrier’s current air traffic demographics range from Italy’s North American diaspora, business travelers, and students to tourists and fashionistas vying to hit up Prada in the Milano Galleria Uomo or New York’s Iconic Bloomingdales.

In a statement shared by the carrier commemorating the anniversary, Emirates outlined the route’s economic impact between the United States and Italy – particularly Emirates SkyCargo’s frequent exports of textiles, fragrances, jewelry, and food items, totaling up to 4,000 tonnes of freight each year.

More than 6,000 flights in both directions have helped meet demand on an underserved route and contributed immensely to the vital trade and tourism links as well as having benefited both economies.

Culture and sport

Emirates first launched services to Milan from its Dubai International Airport (DXB) hub in 2000, eight years after entering the Italian market at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport (FCO). Over the past two decades, the carrier has expanded to add Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) and Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport (BLQ) to its expansive European network, with up to 42 flights between Dubai and Italy each week.

Alongside its support of trade and tourism, Emirates also runs a sponsorship portfolio within Italy, serving as a patron and partner for major sporting events and teams, including the ATP Tour, Rugby World Cup, and AC Milan.

In 2022, the carrier extended its partnership with the popular football team, worth up to €175 million ($184 million) over six years. Speaking at the time, AC Milan’s Chief Revenue Officer Casper Stylsvig praised the partnership between the team and Emirates for expanding its reach to fans across the world. Stylsvig added,

“With this new deal, AC Milan and Emirates will be side by side for almost two decades, a testament to the strength and depth of our unique relationship.”

Growing European connectivity

With demand for travel to both Dubai and the United States across Europe, Emirates has launched two other fifth freedom routes: Athens International Airport (ATH) in Greece to New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) to Mexico City International Airport (MEX).

Emirates Athens – Newark route has been a noted success for the airline’s partnership with Greek flag carrier Aegean Airlines, which announced an expansion of their existing codeshare agreement in September. The renewed deal is set to support passengers traveling into Athens to destinations onwards across Greece and other Southern European cities served by Aegean Airlines.

In 2022, Emirates eyed the possibility of launching a second Greek outpost at Thessaloniki Makedonia Airport (SKG) as part of the city’s plans to establish itself as a hub for Southern Europe and the Balkans. Expansion plans are not expected until Emirates takes delivery of its upcoming Airbus A350-900 aircraft in 2024, with President Tim Clark explaining in June that the carrier would begin to look towards opening new routes across Africa, Europe, and North America.

By Main Saeed Ahmed Khan