United Airlines has announced that it will cease service to Dubai, United Arab Emirates in January of next year. The airline currently serves Dubai from its hub at Washington-Dulles International Airport.
United flight 976 will make its last departure from Washington-Dulles on January 23rd, 2016. The last flight out of Dubai will be on January 25th, 2016.
United cited government subsidies favoring Gulf Carriers as the main reason for cancelling service to the “City of Gold.” The route has been served for the past seven years, but due to the emergence of Emirates and Etihad into the Washington network, United has been unable to profitably operate the route.
The General Services Administration (GSA) in August awarded a U.S. government contract for 2016 to Emirates’ codeshare partner, JetBlue. While JetBlue does not serve the route, Emirates will be the sole operator of the route. Approximately 15,000 United States government employees will now fly on Emirates using taxpayer dollars.
“We believe this decision violates the intent of the Fly America Act, which expressly limits the U.S. government from procuring commercial airline services directly from a non-U.S. carrier. For the Washington to Dubai route, JetBlue merely serves as a booking agent for Emirates,” said Regulatory and Policy VP Steve Morrissey.
United says they continue to call for government action on consultations with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to ensure that Open Skies policies are being enforced.
Passengers will still be able to fly to Dubai with Star Alliance by flying with United’s joint-venture partners Lufthansa and Air Canada.
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