By Andy Sambidge
Dubai's flagship airline will launch A380 router to Kuala Lumpur, Italy's capital on Dec 1
Emirates Airline said on Wednesday that the historic city of Rome will be the next destination slated for its flagship A380 aircraft.
The daily A380 service will start December 1 - the same date that the superjumbo will also be launched on the airline's Kuala Lumpur route.
The announcement of Emirates’ first permanent scheduled A380 service to Italy comes on the back of its June 6 landing at Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport to mark the celebrations for its 50th anniversary.
Salem Obaidalla, Emirates' senior vice president, Commercial Operations, Europe & Russian Federation, said: “The permanent service of the Emirates' A380 to Rome underscores our commitment to Italy, having served this ever-growing market since 1992.
“We would like to express our gratitude to the airport authorities who have strategically upgraded their infrastructure to accommodate the A380. This purposeful investment will help to strengthen the economic ties and tourism links between the UAE and Italy.”
Rome is currently served twice daily by Emirates. Coupled with a double daily service to Milan and a daily flight to Venice, the 35 weekly frequencies contribute to a $4.6bn trade relationship between Italy and the UAE.
With 15 A380s currently in its fleet, Emirates is the largest operator of the double-decker aircraft, operating services from Dubai to London Heathrow (double-daily), Manchester, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Toronto, Seoul, Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai, Jeddah, New York, Hong Kong, Sydney and Auckland.
From October 1, the A380 will begin serving Johannesburg, followed by Kuala Lumpur as of December 1 and then from January 1 2012, the A380 will be deployed on the Munich route.
So far in 2011, Emirates has launched passenger flights to Basra and Geneva. Services to Copenhagen will commence on August 1 and St Petersburg will be launched on November 1, followed by Baghdad on November 13, and Rio and Buenos Aires in January 2012.