Emirates is to beef up its Heathrow-Dubai capacity later this year with a second A380, making it possible, for the first time, to fly from Heathrow to Sydney and Auckland via Dubai and return onboard its superjumbo.
From July 1, flight EK004 will go from being served by a B777-300 to an A380, leaving LHR daily at 2040 and arriving at Dubai International at 0630 the next day. This is in addition to the EK002, the current daily A380 service.
Passengers will then be able to connect to flight EK412 from Dubai at 0945, arriving in Sydney at 0530 the following day. The same aircraft then flies on to Auckland from Sydney, arriving at 1215 the next day.
Salem Obaidalla, Emirates’ senior VP commercial operations, Europe, said it had made a “long term commitment to double up on the double-decker” on the UK route. This suggests that Heathrow will be served by two Emirates A380s for some time.
“London Heathrow was one of the key airports we had in mind when the A380 was first conceived and the new deployment,” Obaidalla said.
Emirates’ 517-seat A380 has 14 flat-bed first class suites plus a lounge and shower spa, 76 fully-flat beds in business and a massive 427 economy seats.
Emirates now has a total of eight A380 in its fleet, serving eight routes. These are Toronto, Paris, Jeddah, Bangkok, Seoul, Sydney/Auckland (one aircraft), and Heathrow (two aircraft).
Earlier this month Emirates announced it would serve Beijing with the A380 (see online news March 1), taking the number of destinations served by the superjumbo up to nine.
For more information visit emirates.com.
Report by Andrew Gough and Alex McWhirter