According to Airline Route, Emirates will begin daily service between Orlando (MCO) and Dubai (DXB) starting September 1, 2015. The flight will be operated by a 3-class 777-200LR which features 8 First Class suites, 42 lie-flat Business Class seats, and 216 Economy Class seats.
Remarkably, this is the second new flight that Emirates has announced today, in addition to their second daily service to Seattle, reported by One Mile at a Time.
We have previously reviewed Emirates First Class seats on their 777-200LR, which are fully enclosed suites similar to the ones you would find on their flagship A380. The 777-200 does not feature showers on board, but other signature Emirates First Class amenities, including the in-suite mini bar, are available.
Emirates is the first Middle Eastern carrier to fly to Orlando since 2001, when Saudia discontinued their flights to/from Riyadh. Emirates partners with JetBlue, which has a pretty extensive operation out of Orlando as well as Alaska Airlines who flies from Orlando to San Diego and Seattle.
The fact that Emirates is launching service with a 777-200LR seems appropriate for the significantly lighter business demand one would find to/from Orlando. The hard product, especially the 2-3-2 configured Business Class, does leave a bit to be desired, though I think the choice of equipment is not surprising for a leisure-heavy destination.
As of this writing, the route does not appear to have been loaded into the system yet and it is not clear what award availability will look like. Award travel on Emirates can be attained using miles/points via Korean Air and Alaska Airlines, though the later has recently seen some trouble in accessing First Class and some Business Class award space.
With the addition of the Orlando route, Emirates will soon have service to 10 cities in the United States: Boston, Chicago-O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston (IAH), Los Angeles, New York-JFK, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington-Dulles.