Emirates said to plan A380 launch to Perth

Dubai airline set to take superjumbo to Western Australia to support booming economy

Emirates Airline is planning to launch A380 services to Perth as soon as the Western Australian airport completes work on a new dedicated boarding bridge, it has been reported.

Tim Clark, president of the world's biggest operator of the Airbus superjumbo, reaffirmed the airline's commitment to fly its 489-seat A380s to Perth.

In comments published by the West Australian newspaper, he said the future for West Australian was "incredible".

He said the superjumbo would help the airline handle the traffic generated by the "booming WA resource economy" and the proposed Qantas alliance.

Perth Airport is expected to complete the dedicated A380 boarding complex by the middle of next year and Emirates is then set to add a daily A380 service and twice-daily 777 flights to Dubai.

Perth Airport's international terminal has only one boarding bridge per plane, whereas the A380 ideally needs three and at least two, the newspaper said.

Emirates will start additional flights to Perth from December 1, increasing from 14 to 18 a week before moving to three times a day on March 1 next year.

With 25 A380 aircraft now in its fleet, Emirates has said the number will grow to 31 by the end of 2012.

Emirates is the largest A380 operator worldwide and with 90 jets on firm order by far the largest A380 customer.

The Dubai-based carrier was the first airline to order the A380 and thus enabled Airbus to proceed with the programme.

The further 65 A380s on Emirates’ order book is part of Emirates’ overall 216 aircraft still to be delivered, worth $62bn.

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