Monday, September 3, 2012

Washington DC now closer to Asia with new flights to the Middle East

A decade or so ago when travellers from India came to Washington DC they had to choose a European stopover and mostly an itinerary that included at least 3 flight segments- Either New York or an additional flight to Bombay or New Delhi. On my first flight to the US I flew Air France.

In the past few years Washington DC flying to Asia specially the Washington Dulles Airport has become more convenient. This month on September 12th Emirates is beginning a daily flight from Washington Dulles to Dubai. United Airlines already has a direct flight to Dubai (United Arab Emirates) , Kuwait, Manama( Bahrain) with a stopover in Kuwait and Doha (Qatar) with a stopover in Dubai. Qatar also has a daily flight from Washington Dulles to Doha and Etihad is starting a daily flight from Washington DC to Abu Dhabi from March 2013.  Saudia has a flight to Riyadh from Washington DC. Air India had started flights to Washington DC connecting in New York but these were discontinued after a few months.

According to Michael Neibauer writing in the Washington Business Journal :

" on March 31, 2013, Dulles will finally have one up on JFK: daily flights to the Middle East."
"There are currently 25 weekly departures out of Dulles to the Middle East, compared with 38 at JFK. By September, Dulles will have 34 to JFK’s 42. With the addition of Etihad’s service next year, JFK is slated to have 40 weekly departures to Dulles’ 41."
In the past few years that I have flown through Dubai i have come across a myriad of co-passengers - Indian Expats/ American Indian citizens heading to India for vacation, Grand parents heading home after seeing their grand kids, members of the US defence personnel heading back to Iraq or Afghanistan, State Department folks, Defence contractors, tourists. MAny iof my fellow passengers were headed to other asian cities from Dubai. Of course a new category of passengers are businesses in the Washington DC area that are expanding to the Middle East. Georgetown University where I teach has the School of Foreign Service  in Qatar. The Washington Business Journal says "The Carlyle Group LP, Hilton Worldwide, Lockheed Martin Corp. and the Children’s National Medical Center " have strong ties to business in the Middle East.

Dubai airport is also a good airport , I remember that just outside the jet bridge as soon as you deplane are strollers for kids that you can use for free. Large amount of shopping and  of course a in terminal hotel. 

I am happy - instead of the 3 leg journey I made this summer from DC to Hyderabad India ( Via Zurich and Bombay) competition and more airlines will give us passengers a better deal to get to Asia.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your effort and sharing this nice post with us and found helpful and glad to know about direct flight between Asia and Washington DC, so it become more easier to travel and save time also.

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