Emirates airline is facing an unusual request - an online petition by a major international airport in the United States to start a daily non-stop service.
The city in question? Detroit, USA.
The petition, launched by Detroit Metro Airport (DTW), has 462 signatures so far and the airport authority is hoping to get 5,000 signatures to convince the airlines to start the new service.
In a statement sent to Emirates 24|7, the Dubai-based airline has ruled out immediate plans to launch any new service to the Americas except starting service to Washington DC in September.
Adnan Kazim, Divisional Senior Vice President - Planning & Research, Emirates, said: “Emirates is committed to the United States and to bridging America with key markets across the world through our non-stop services to Dubai.”
He added: “We continue to look for new opportunities to expand our gateways across the US and will be starting our seventh American route to Washington DC in September.
However, at this time, we have no immediate plans to announce any additional new services."
The petition, posted at www.detroit2dubai.com, says that Detroit has one of the largest Arab populations outside the Middle East, while DTW only has two non-stops per week to the Middle East.
“Shouldn't Detroit have non-stop service to the hub of the Middle East? Help us convince airlines like Emirates to fly DTW-Dubai non-stop,” the petition asks.
Though almost 250 people fly back and forth to India each day from Detroit despite their being no non-stop flight.
Connecting non-stop to Dubai though Emirates will help in increasing traffic at DTW and likewise help the carrier.
Emirates is set to become the largest airline in the world by 2017. It currently flies nonstop from Dubai to Houston, Dallas, New York JFK, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
In an interview to Detroit Free Press, Joe Cambron, director of air service development, said: "We've actually had meetings with the airlines already to talk to them about the possibility of service, but obviously I'd rather have a large number of people sign the petition."
He added: “These days, routes are not set up just based on backroom discussions. Airlines like to see people responding to online petitions.”
Emirates operates services to 123 cities in 73 countries in Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Asia-Pacific.
It is the world’s second largest airline in available seat kilometres and is on track to become one of the largest airlines in the world.
The airline has 71 all wide-bodied fleet includes 8 freighters and is among the youngest in the skies, with an average age of 79 months.
It plans to more than double its size by 2012.