Emirates (EK, Dubai Int'l) has been allowed to continue to operate its Milan Malpensa to New York JFK route after Italy's highest administrative court, the Council of State, rejected a legal challenge brought against the Gulf airline by Assaereo, an association that represents Alitalia (AZ, Rome Fiumicino) and other Italian airlines.

In its original successful petition to a Roman administrative court on April, Assaereo had claimed that the Italian civil aviation authority (Ente Nazionale per l'Aviazione Civile - ENAC) had erred in granting Emirates 5th Freedom traffic out of Milan. Such traffic rights, it said, could not be granted to a non-EU operator or a carrier from a country which is neither the port of departure nor destination, which in this case is Italy and the United States.

However, the Council of State, in its ruling, stated the awarding of such rights were in line with Italian law and therefore did not warrant a suspension.

Emirates, which currently operates the route as Dubai Int'l - Milan - New York using a daily B777-300(ER), acts in competition with Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson), Alitalia, and American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth).