Dubai-based airline Emirates is planning to launch a second daily flight on two major routes to the US.

The carrier will begin operating the additional flights to Los Angeles on 31 October and flights to Houston will begin on 1 November.

The extra flights mean Emirates will operate 98 flights to destinations in the US.

Emirates hopes to provide customers in the Middle East and Asia with easier access to largest cities in California and Texas, which will support growing business and leisure traffic between the regions.

Since the airline launched its first flight to New York in 2004, the value of trade between the US and the UAE stands at $12.7bn for the year ending June 2010.

The UAE is the largest consumer of American imports in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena). Imports include machinery, computer products and transport equipment.

In July, Emirates placed a $9.1bn order with US-based Boeing for 30 777 planes (MEED 19:7:10). The previous month the carrier also ordered 32 Airbus A380 aircraft from the European manufacturer with a price tag of $11.5bn.