Emirates increases capacity to India

29 May 2014 by Clement Huang

Emirates will increase the capacity of a number of its services to India later this year.

The Gulf carrier will expand its A380 network to 28 destinations when it launches a daily superjumbo service to Mumbai’s newly opened Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Terminal 2.

Flight EK 500 and 501, between Dubai and Mumbai, will be upscaled to a three-class A380 aircraft. The route is currently served by a three-class Boeing 777-300ER, which features eight seats in first, 42 in business and 304 in economy.

Meanwhile, the A380 will offer 14 suites in first class, 76 lie-flat seats in business and 399 standard seats in economy. This represents a capacity upgrade across all cabin classes.

This upgrade is now possible thanks to the relaxation of rules by the Indian authorities that had previously restricted the use of large aircraft in order to protect the country’s home carriers. In addition, the old Terminal 2 at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport did not have the capability to support the superjumbo.

“We look forward to working with the new government in India to grow India’s economy through enhanced aviation connectivity and realize India’s ambition to grow its international aviation market to 85 million passengers by 2020,” said Ahmed Khoory, Emirates’ senior vice president, commercial operations, West Asia & Indian Ocean.

This will be the second carrier to deploy the A380 to India, following Singapore Airlines' superjumbo launch to both Delhi and Mumbai on May 30 (see here).

In addition to the upgrade on its services to Mumbai, Emirates will also deploy larger Boeing 777 aircraft to Delhi and Hyderabad in response to the growing demand.

The Gulf carrier currently serves both routes with a mix of B777-200 and B777-300 aircraft (which it is starting to phase out), and it is likely that it will begin upgrading some of these to the B777-300ER.

The result will be an additional 980 one-way weekly seats for Delhi while Hyderabad will similarly see an increase of 672 seats.

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Clement Huang

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