Emirates to Make London Exclusive A380 Destination

The airline will replace a Boeing 777-300ER on the carrier’s EK011/012 between Dubai International and London Gatwick with a three-class A380 from January 1, 2016 meaning all three of its rotations to Gatwick and five daily flights to Heathrow will be flown with the SuperJumbo from the start of 2016.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) carrier, Emirates Airline is to offer an exclusive Airbus A380 operation between Dubai and London from the start of next year, its latest update of its schedule inventory for winter 2015/2016 has shown.

The airline will replace a Boeing 777-300ER on the carrier’s EK011/012 between Dubai International and London Gatwick with a three-class A380 from January 1, 2016 meaning all three of its rotations to Gatwick and five daily flights to Heathrow will be flown with the SuperJumbo from the start of 2016. This deployment is in addition to the introduction of a two-class configured A380 on Dubai – London Gatwick from the same day; replacing a three-class model, on the EK009/010 flight.

Emirates has steadily grown its London A380 operations since first deploying the aircraft on a scheduled service to Heathrow in December 2008 – the second A380 destination to join the airline’s network.  It will will offer 70 A380 flights per week into the UK, more than any other country on the Emirates network.

The table, below, shows the planned Emirates schedules between Dubai and London next year, as extracted from OAG Schedules Analyser on the morning of August 6, 2015.

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Elsewhere in the UK, the airline also provides a three times daily link to Manchester (with two flights operated by the A380), a three times daily flight to Birmingham, a twice daily operation to Glasgow and a daily rotation to Newcastle. All other flights are scheduled to be flown using 777-300ER equipment.

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Emirates has been serving the UK market for almost 30 years having first introduced flights between a very different looking Dubai International Airport and London Gatwick in 1987, its first route to Europe. Back then its Dubai hub was handling just a couple of million passengers per annum but has now grown to be the world’s largest international airport with more than 70 million passengers using the facility annually.

“The deployment of a third A380 to London Gatwick now means that travellers to and from London can enjoy our world-class A380 on every flight,” said Hubert Frach, divisional senior vice president, commercial operations west, Emirates Airline. “In the last five years we have increased capacity into London by over 25 per cent. This demonstrates the attractiveness of the A380 with its ability to serve customer demand at slot-constrained points without the need for adding another frequency.”  

The airline’s UK presence is the largest among the 16 member states it currently serves and London the busiest route of the 28 European cities it links to Dubai. A recent study from Frontier Economics estimated that Emirates’ significant operations into Europe, including the catalytic impact of the 220 unique connections it offers, supported 85,100 jobs across the European Union in 2013/14, equivalent to €6.8 billion GDP.

Our analysis of OAG Schedules Analyser data highlights the amazing growth of Emirates in the UK market, and in particular London, by highlighting its annual capacity to the country over the past ten years. Through new destinations, most recently Newcastle, additional frequencies and the deployment of larger aircraft, most notably the Airbus A380 on multiple daily frequencies to London Heathrow, the carrier has grown UK capacity by 89.4 per cent between 2005 and 2014, an average annual rise of 9.9 per cent.

Meanwhile, Emirates late last month announced it would introduce a fourth daily A380 service between Dubai and Bangkok with the upgauge of its current services from December 1, 2015. The Thai capital is the latest destination in its network to be confirmed as being served by the carrier’s new two-class A380 with the more densely configured aircraft being deployed on its daily EK376 from Dubai to Bangkok and EK377 from Bangkok to Dubai. The up-gauge from its current Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will see an increase in capacity of 255 seats per flight and 3,570 seats per week to and from the Thai capital city.

“Thailand is an important market for Emirates, and the A380 has been extremely popular with travellers since we first started the double-decker aircraft service to Thailand in 2009,” said Barry Brown, divisional senior vice president, commercial operations east, Emirates Airline.

“For business and leisure travellers, the Dubai-Bangkok route is a popular choice and this additional A380 service will be instrumental in helping us meet growing passenger demand, as well as deliver substantial economic benefits through travel connections and inbound seats,” he added.

Emirates will introduce the new high-density version of its Airbus A380 into operation later this year and has now confirmed four markets for the variant. The new two-class configuration joins five varying capacity three-class offerings currently available on the airline’s fleet of Airbus A380s. Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the A380, with 64 in the fleet and 76 more on order.

The airline will do away with its First Class cabin and showers onboard an unspecified number of new Super Jumbos it has on order to boost its capacity offering. In the new configuration the A380 is capable of carrying 615 passengers across its business and economy cabins – accommodating 58 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 557 seats in Economy Class.

The new arrangement will initially debut in the final quarter and will enter service from December 1, 2015 on both the Dubai – Bangkok and Dubai – Copenhagen routes, and will also serve Dubai – Kuala Lumpur and Dubai – London Gatwick from January 1, 2015.

Read our other 'Spotlight on... Emirates Airline' features from this week...

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