Emirates is considering restarting a Fifth Freedom route between Hamburg, Germany and New York JFK. It’s a bold move in the “America First” era, but hardly a route so odd that it merits scorn.
Without formal announcement, United suspended service to Hamburg last autumn. After serving Hamburg year-around for several years from Newark via a 757-200, United upgraded the flight to a 767-300 in 2016. In 2017, it reduced service to Hamburg to seasonal (summer only). But when United announced its summer schedule for 2019, Hamburg was not in it.
> Read More: United Airlines Adds 22 New Routes, Cuts Three Of My Favorites
So it is hardly surprising that Emirates saw a void in service between New York and Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city and a global shipping hub. And it certainly helped that Hamburg’s new mayor traveled to Dubai in an effort to woo Emirates back. Emirates used to operate this route between 2006 and 2008, dropping it during the Great Recession. It never returned. In speaking of his meeting, Hamburg Mayor Peter Tschentscher indicated Emirates’ President Sir Tim Clark was confident his airline could profitably operate the route.
But that’s not the hurdle. The hurdle, as One Mile at a Time notes, is the regulatory burden in both the USA and Germany. Germany’s aviation market is highly-protected. And while Emirates’ technically has authority on the U.S. side to resume this flight, it faces a dishonest smear campaign from people like Delta CEO Ed Bastian.
> Read More: Dense, Dimwitted Logic From A Deliberately Deceptive Delta CEO
The narrative from U.S. airlines will be, “If United couldn’t make it on a 757 or 767, how can Emirates make it work on a 777-300 or A380?” Charges of Gulf subsidies destroying U.S. jobs will ensue. But Emirates isn’t United and we never saw United’s raw numbers concerning Hamburg. The decision to cut service could have simply been a cost/benefit analysis of superior aircraft utilization.
I think the biggest hurdle will be German regulators, not U.S. regulators. While the U.S. administration may kowtow to lobbyists and verbally saber-rattle over the threat of Gulf carriers, the President loves Emirates and Dubai. The Transportation Secretary is also a more traditional free-trade neoliberal. On the German side, though, the question is a fair one: doesn’t a nonstop route between New York and Hamburg make sense? If Eurowings, Lufthansa, or United won’t do it, why not Emirates?
Perhaps we’ll get a consolation prize. The very specter of Emirates resuming Fifth Freedom service between New York and Hamburg may prompt United to resume its service or Lufthansa to start service, as it does between New York and Berlin (both non-hubs). Absent that, I don’t see how Emirates can be turned away on a long-term basis.
Do you think Emirates should be permitted to fly between New York and Hamburg?
Emirates today is very popular in Hamburg. United wasn’t. So it will work, i think.
Totally of topic but my friend showed me something you might find interesting.
If you get a chance go check out Simon Wilson on YouTube. It will settle the debate of wether or not white people and brown people are treated differently in hotels.
He doesn’t seem like a bad guy at all but the entire premise of his ‘challenges’ he does is to travel to a city and spend absolutely no money there. This consists of him going in out of different hotels for food at buffets and using lobby’s to sleep in for hours and hours at a time.
He does it all over the world and he’s never dressed in a suit or business attire. If this is as blantant as privellege gets idk what is.
And again to clarify, not mad at all just wanted you to take a look at it cause I’m stupified I guess.
Thanks. I’ll check it out.
I lived in HH for two years. Great city, I was a regular on the UA flight and was very sorry to see it go. FYI, Emirates flies a 777 to HAM and I do not think the airport is equipped to handle the A380.
Despite Hamburg being the second-largest city in Germany (and an economic powerhouse in its own right) it does not come close to having the global financial and economic connections of Frankfurt and Munich (obviously) or even Duesseldorf and Cologne (not as obvious). I believe that UA’s initial reduction to seasonal (tourist) service reflected this reality. My flights were rarely full, especially in the winter time.
I hope that the route gets approved, but I will be curious as to whether Emirates will fill the flight with passengers traveling onward to Dubai (and in return offer a lower fare than to passengers than flying directly from NY to Dubai).
All I have to say is, government subsidies at its best. That is the emirates philosophy. They don’t have to worry about losing money because they have the government to subsidize all the empty flights. If all the other international carriers decide not to do it why in the world would emirates take that risk, because they can? Or is it that they have bigger backbone supported by their government unlike all the other carriers.
Has there been any update on this? I travel to HAM for work about once a year, and would love to see this route come back, but haven’t heard anything about this since the initial rumblings.