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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Emirates Airlines today announced that the international airline is launching non-stop, daily service from Dubai to O'Hare International Airport beginning August 5, 2014.
"Chicago welcomes Emirates, one of the world's largest international airlines, to our city," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "Air transport links are critical for trade and tourism, and Emirates' non-stop daily flights to Dubai will only add to our global connectivity and further our goal to host 55 million visitors by 2020, in turn generating jobs not only at the airport but across Chicago's travel and hospitality industries."
Emirates' new service will operate as flight EK 235 from Dubai International Airport at 09:15 hours arriving into Chicago at 14:45. The return flight, EK 236 will depart O'Hare at 20:35 hours, arriving into Dubai at 19:10 the next day. The service will be operated with a Boeing 777-200 LR, powered by GE engines.
Speaking about the new route, Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline said "Chicago has long been a destination in the United States which Emirates has wished to serve. Like Dubai, Chicago is a major global trade and transportation hub with great cultural diversity that is an economic engine for its region. We welcome the chance to establish a non-stop trade bridge between these two great cities and, via our Dubai hub, to more efficiently link Chicago area passengers and shippers with our international network beyond Dubai to 125 destinations spanning six continents. This is good news for trade and tourism for both cities, and jobs that rely on both, as well as for consumers who will benefit from greater competitive choice."
In addition to carrying passengers, the aircraft will also be equipped to transport up to 17 tons of cargo to further increase trade opportunities between Dubai and Chicago. Emirates already operates a twice-weekly dedicated freighter service to Chicago which carried nearly 7,400 tons of cargo from the city and more than 4,200 tons into the city in 2013. The estimated annual economic impact of the new Emirates service is nearly $200 million annually.
"This is an exciting announcement for Chicago and for our airports. We are very pleased that our efforts to bring Emirates' world-class air service to Chicago O'Hare have succeeded," said Rosemarie S. Andolino, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation. "Expanding Chicago's connectivity to the growing Middle East is a high priority for us, and we look forward to working with Emirates as part of our plan to enhance Chicago's leading role in the global aviation system."
Chicago will become the airline's ninth gateway in the USA, following soon after the commencement of its services to Boston, Massachusetts later in spring of this year.