By Shane McGinley
Dubai state-backed carrier to add new A380 route to UK’s biggest airport from March
Emirates, the world’s biggest international airline, will add a fourth daily flight to London using Airbus' A380 aircraft, the Dubai-based carrier said on Thursday.
The service to the UK capital’s Heathrow’s airport will commence March 25, following the start of a third daily superjumbo flight on Jan 24, Emirates said in an emailed statement.
The move will make Emirates the largest superjumbo operator to service the UK’s largest airport, the company said. The fifth daily flight will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER
“This demonstrates the beauty of the A380 – its ability to increase our service to our passengers in style, and without adding traffic to London Heathrow,” said Salem Obaidalla, Emirates’ senior VP of commercial operations for Europe and the Russian Federation.
Emirates’ began using the Airbus double-decker aircraft on its London route in December 2008, adding the A380 to its Manchester service in June this year as it sought to gain long-haul traffic from rival airlines.
The world’s No.1 airline on international routes, Emirates has faced criticism from European carriers who have pressed their governments to deny the fast-growing airline new flying rights.
Carriers including Air France-KLM Group, Europe’s biggest carrier by traffic, claim that lower taxes and airport fees at Emirate’s Dubai hub amounts to an unfair advantage.
The carrier signed a deal with Boeing last month for 50 777-300ER jets, and an option for 20 more, in a contract valued at $26bn. The signing marked Boeing’s largest civil jet order to date.
Emirates currently has 90 Airbus A380 aircraft on order.