By Andy Sambidge
Dubai airline says it will add superjumbo to capital Kuala Lumpur from Dec 1 as demand grows
Emirates Airline said on Tuesday it was to add Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, to its list of destinations served by its A380 superjumbo.
The giant plane will start services to Kuala Lumpur on December 1, the Dubai-based carrier said in a statement.
Emirates’ partnership with Malaysia began in October 1996 when the airline launched its services to Kuala Lumpur via Dhaka.
By 2006, the airline connected Dubai and Kuala Lumpur non-stop and today operates 21 non-stop flights a week between these two important cities.
The Emirates A380 arrival will be the first scheduled A380 service to Malaysia by any airline, the statement added.
Richard Jewsbury, Emirates’ senior vice president, Commercial Operations Far East & Australasia, said: “The launch of the A380 on the route follows strong and increasing demand, not just from business travellers, but leisure travellers as well, boosting Malaysian tourism.”
Trade between Malaysia and the UAE has expanded more than three-fold over the last decade from $1.16bn in 2000 to $4.59bn last year.
The airline’s fleet of 15 A380s operate on services from Dubai to London Heathrow (double-daily), Manchester, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Toronto, Seoul, Bangkok, Beijing, Jeddah, New York, Hong Kong, Sydney, Auckland and most recently Shanghai.
The A380 announcement comes as Emirates Airline remains frustrated in its efforts to launch the superjumbo to India.
Emirates celebrated the opening of the new terminal at the New Delhi airport last year by flying in a A380 but he plane has not returned since.
India’s government has not acted on requests to change regulations that bar overseas carriers, including Emirates and Deutsche Lufthansa, from flying aircraft bigger than the Boeing 747 into the country. That rules out the A380.
The two airlines are eager to tap India’s growing travel market with the A380, the world’s biggest passenger aircraft.