Dubai-based Emirates will mark Saudi Arabia's National Day on 23 September with the first visit of an Airbus A380 to Riyadh.

The flight to the Saudi capital is intended as a one-off service; Emirates has operated the 489-seat aircraft between Dubai and the Saudi commercial centre of Jeddah since February 2010 and reports strong demand from both business and tourism sectors in either direction.

Emirates senior vice-president, Gulf, Middle East and Iran, Ahmed Khoory, described the A380 as "an excellent fit for discerning Saudi travellers" and said that Riyadh's King Khalid International Airport is well-equipped to handle the A380.

However, an Emirates spokeswoman said there were no immediate plans to put the A380 on the route permanently.

Emirates normally operates the Dubai-Riyadh run with either an Airbus A330-200 or a Boeing 777.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news