Emirates expands A380 network as Covid travel curbs are relaxed

Emirates flagship A380 aircraft will soon be deployed to an expanded list of destinations from October in line with a continued easing of Covid travel restrictions around the globe.

The number of cities that the double decker aircraft will serve will be scaled up to 27 by the end of November, representing a more than 65% increase from its current 16.

The Dubai-based carrier is poised to offer almost 165,000 additional seats with the addition of 11 routes to the A380 network by November.

The move signifies the airline’s “continued commitment to and confidence” in the A380.

The announcement came as rival Qatar Airways took a profits hit as it was forced to ground A380s during the pandemic.

Emirates services will be reinstated to destinations such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Johannesburg, Madrid, Milan, Riyadh, Sao Paulo and Zurich plus a new A380 route to Istanbul from October 1.

The airline’s total fleet of A380s will reach 118 by the end of the year, including six aircraft equipped with premium economy seats in a four-class configuration.

Emirates currently flies to more than 120 cities, representing 90% of its pre-pandemic network.

Plans to restore 70% of its capacity by the end of the year are on track with the return to service of more than 50 A380 aircraft.

Emirates is scaling up of operations across its global network to meet a surge in customer demand to Dubai as well as other destinations that allow quarantine-free entry for specific nationalities and vaccination status.

The carrier said: “The Emirates A380 remains highly sought-after by travellers for its spacious and comfortable cabins featuring modern amenities to make the journey a memorable experience.

“The airline is gradually and responsibly deploying its popular aircraft in sync with passenger demand as the travel industry continues on its path to recovery.

“With Expo 2020 Dubai just days away, the city is preparing to welcome visitors for the world’s largest gathering and highly-anticipated event which will include a rich line-up of themed weeks, entertainment, workshops, live shows as well as country pavilions and special installations to get a glimpse of the future.”

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