Emirates details initial A380 route plans

London
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Middle Eastern carrier Emirates has detailed plans to deploy its new Airbus A380 aircraft on services to London Heathrow from 1 December and to Sydney and Auckland from 1 February 2009, in addition to its Dubai-New York JFK route from October.

Flightglobal.com reported last December that Emirates would use the A380 on the JFK route from 1 October, and the carrier has today confirmed this plan.

Emirates, the largest customer for the A380, will start deploying the aircraft on the Heathrow route from the start of December and on its route to Sydney, Australia, and Auckland in New Zealand the following February. The aircraft will seat 489 passengers: 14 in first class, 76 in business and 399 in economy.

Emirates president Tim Clark says: “Our A380s will take to the skies in late summer, signalling an end to our long wait and ushering in a new era for Emirates.

“While we are still debating our first commercial A380 route, it has always been our intention to fly the aircraft on capacity-constrained trunk routes. The cities that we have now scheduled for A380 services, starting this autumn, bring our plans to fruition.”

Emirates has 58 A380s on order and will take delivery of its first five this year. It will also operate some of its A380s in a medium-range three-class 517-seat configuration and a medium-range two-class configuration with 604 seats.