Hamburg’s abendblatt.de is reporting that Emirates may restart transatlantic service from Germany’s wealthy port city. If plans come to fruition Emirates would link Hamburg to New York. It would be a continuation of its daily service between Dubai and Hamburg and, subject to slots, would operate into JFK airport.
However traffic rights, if granted, would be on a fifth-freedom basis and these are usually difficult to obtain, because the airlines of each end-to-end country will likely object.
Peter Tschentscher, Mayor of Hamburg, recently visited Dubai and met with Emirates president Sir Tim Clark. Tschentscher suggested Emirates restart the route which, although originally launched in 2006, had been dropped a few years ago for economic reasons.
The Mayor says that a New York link would encourage more businesses to invest in his city. Hamburg lacks long-haul routes on Germany’s national airline Lufthansa, not even on its budget subsidiary Eurowings, so travellers to or from this Hanseatic city are compelled to fly via Frankfurt or Munich when taking Lufthansa.
Abendblatt reports that Clark says the route would now be “definitely economical. However gaining fifth-freedom rights is a challenge at the best of times and today, as Clark admitted to the Mayor, the situation is tougher than it was in 2006. Objections from Lufthansa are one thing. More to the point is the reaction of the US authorities, which have voiced objections to Emirates holding transatlantic fifth-freedom rights from a couple of other European cities into the US.