Emirates Airline has selected Los Angeles as its new West Coast gateway and will begin daily nonstop service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Dubai on September 1st.

“I am pleased that Emirates has chosen LAX as its U.S. West Coast gateway and I look forward to the start of service between LAX and Dubai later this year,” Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa said in announcing the service Thursday, March 13th. “The route opens a new destination for business and leisure travelers in the Gulf region, a part of the world not previously served from Los Angeles. It will also enable travelers to reach every region of the world nonstop from LAX.”

Sheik Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group, said, “L.A. represents Emirates’ commitment to the American market. We have evaluated the U.S. for expansion opportunities and have carefully examined our existing services in Houston and New York — both of which have been very successful. We look forward to recreating this success by connecting L.A. to Dubai and beyond.”

Emirates will serve the LAX-Dubai route with Boeing 777-200LR aircraft. It is the longest-range commercial airplane in the world and is also cleaner and quieter than similar aircraft, according to manufacturer Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and it also is 21 percent more fuel-efficient and produces fewer emissions. The Emirates’ B-777-200LR will accommodate 266 travelers in eight private, first-class suites, 42 lie-flat business class seats and 216 economy class seats. Beginning September 1st, Emirates flight 216 will depart daily from LAX at 4:45 p.m., arriving Dubai at 7:40 p.m. the following day. Return flight 215 will depart daily from Dubai at 8:20 a.m., arriving at LAX at 1:55 p.m. the same day.

Villaraigosa said the selection of LAX is a reflection of the extensive modernization efforts underway at the world’s fifth-busiest airport, and his initiative to re-establish LAX as one of the world’s great international gateway airports.

“Gaining new and increased international service at LAX and LA/Ontario International is a top priority for my administration because of the added benefits to air travelers and the substantial contribution wide-body flights make to the Southern California economy,” he said.

A 2007 study by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation found that one average daily, round-trip, transoceanic flight of wide-body aircraft from LAX generated $623.5 million in annual economic output, sustained 3,120 direct and indirect jobs in Southern California, and produced $156 million in wages each year.

Emirates Airline, which currently serves 99 destinations in 62 countries, is the seventh carrier in recent months to begin or announce new international service to Los Angeles. It was also the first airline in the world to place an order for the Airbus A380, the world’s largest airliner.

LAX hosted two test flights of A380 aircraft last year, successfully completed compatibility testing of its ground operations and terminal facilities, and is expected to host 12 daily A380 flights by 2012 — more than any other airport in North America.

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