Emirates to start Washington DC route in September

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Emirates has announced plans to launch service from the UAE to Washington DC one month after rival Etihad Airways unveiled a similar future route.

Emirates will deploy a Boeing 777-300ER between Dubai and Washington Dulles airport starting on 12 September.

The 777 will feature eight private first class suites, 42 business class seats and 304 seats in economy, the carrier says.

Opening the carrier's seventh US route is a "significant step as we continue to expand our services across the country", says Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group.

Emirates currently operates nonstop routes from Dubai to Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle, according to the Innovata database on Flightglobal Pro.

The carrier's announcement comes only weeks after Etihad announced it will begin connecting Abu Dhabi and Washington Dulles in March 2013 using an Airbus A340-500.

Both carriers will compete against Star Alliance member United Airlines, which currently operates a daily service with a Boeing 777, Innovata says.