Emirates to resume services to London Heathrow and Paris

Emirates has said that its A380 aircraft will begin serving travellers on flights to London Heathrow and Paris, starting from July 15.

This follows the announcement earlier in the week that Dubai will re-open to business and leisure visitors from July 7, with new air travel protocols that facilitate travel for UAE citizens, residents and tourists.

Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ chief operating officer, said: ‘The A380 remains a popular aircraft amongst our customers and it offers many unique on-board features. We are delighted to bring it back into the skies to serve our customers on flights to London and Paris from 15 July, and we are looking forward to gradually introduce our A380 into more destinations according to the travel demand on specific destinations. The Emirates A380 experience remains unique in the industry, and even though we’ve modified services onboard for the health and safety of our crew and customers, we are confident that our customers would welcome flying again in this quiet, comfortable aircraft.’

In addition, Emirates has announced that it will commence flights for travellers to Dhaka from June24, and Munich from July 15. Flights to Dhaka and Munich will be operated with an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, and can be booked on emirates.com or via travel agents.

Emirates currently offers flights to over 40 cities, with connections through its Dubai hub for customers travelling between the Asia Pacific, the Gulf, Europe and the Americas.

Emirates has implemented a set of measures to ensure the safety of its customers and employees on the ground and in the air, including the distribution of complimentary hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes to all customers. More information on these measures and the services available on each flight is available at: www.emirates.com/yoursafety.

Customers are further reminded that due to travel restrictions, travellers will only be accepted on flights if they comply with the eligibility and entry criteria requirements of their destination countries. Visitors to Dubai should hold an international health insurance policy covering illness from Covid-19 for the duration of their stay. More information is available at www.emirates.com.

Emirates commences second daily A380 service from Birmingham to Dubai

Emirates has said that it has commenced its second daily A380 service to Dubai from Birmingham Airport.

The second daily service comes following increased demand from customers and after nearly two years of its inaugural A380 flight from the city. Emirates’ second flight EK39 departs from Dubai at 07:25 hours and arrives in Birmingham at 11:25 hours. The outbound flight, EK40, departs from Birmingham at 13:30 hours and arrives in Dubai at 00:35 hours the following day.

Laurie Berryman, Emirates Vice President, UK, said: ‘The launch of the second daily A380 service shows our continued commitment to this important route, allowing more passengers travelling from Birmingham to take advantage of our A380 to A380 connectivity via Dubai.

‘Thanks to its strategic position in the Midlands, the route allows both visitors and businesses to travel to Dubai and beyond from the heart of the UK. Now in its seventeenth year, we have seen a pronounced growth in the popularity of our Birmingham service and look forward to a bright future with our twice daily A380 service.’

William Pearson, Aviation Director commented: ‘We are delighted that Emirates has launched a second A380 service from Birmingham to Dubai with this iconic aircraft. Emirates’ hub in Dubai offers connections to 154 destinations, over six continents, giving our region’s travellers global connectivity with an award-winning airline.

‘Having this additional capacity on the lunchtime service to Dubai and onwards ensures flexibility and choice for passengers and also shows the commitment that Emirates has in the Midlands region.’

Since the launch of the first A380 service on March 27, 2016, the airline has flown nearly 500,000 passengers on the aircraft between the two cities. Passengers travelling in Business Class are offered a dedicated lounge at Birmingham Airport as well as Emirates’ Chauffeur-drive service to and from the airport within a 70-mile radius.

Emirates started flying between Birmingham and Dubai on December 18, 2000, operated by a 278-seat Airbus A330. Since then, the airline has carried over 5.2 million passengers between Dubai and Birmingham, the Airport noted.

Emirates announces second daily A380 service from Dubai to Birmingham

Emirates has announced that it will introduce a second daily A380 service between Dubai and Birmingham, starting October 2017.

According to a release by the Birmingham Airport, Flight EK39/40 – currently operated by a Boeing 777 – will now be operated by the Emirates A380, adding to the existing daily A380 already operating on the route.

The addition of the new A380 follows the suspension of one of Emirates’ flights to Birmingham. The world’s largest passenger aircraft, A380 features 615 seats. With the new service, starting October 2017, the airline will operate a twice-daily, all-A380 service to the Midlands.

Emirates’ A380 service reportedly has had high demand from passengers. Since the first A380 service from Dubai to Birmingham commenced on March 27, 2016, over 300,000 passengers have already flown on the aircraft between the two cities.

Emirates’ flight EK39 departs from Dubai at 07:25 hours and arrives in Birmingham at 11:25 hours. The outbound flight, EK40, departs from Birmingham at 13:30 hours and arrives in Dubai at 00:35 hours the following day. Tickets are available to book at www.emirates.com.

The A380 features one of the widest individual in-seat Economy Class screens, measuring in at 13.3 inches and offering over 2,500 channels on the in-flight entertainment system. Similar to the current A380 used on the route, the aircraft will operate in a two class configuration, featuring 58 flat-bed seats in Business Class and 557 seats in Economy Class, as well as Emirates’ Onboard Lounge.

With Emirates offering A380 services to key destinations in the East such as Auckland, Bangkok, Beijing, Perth, Singapore and Sydney, passengers travelling beyond Dubai have an increased opportunity to fly on the A380 on both legs of their journey. As with the current service, travellers will also have connectivity to Emirates’ network of 31 destinations in the Indian Subcontinent and Africa. In addition, Emirates currently offers new passenger services to places including Cebu and Clark in the Philippines, Yinchuan and Zhengzhou in mainland China, Yangon in Myanmar and Hanoi in Vietnam. On July 1, 2017, Emirates will also start flying daily to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

British Airways A380 set for first long haul flight

The British Airways A380 is set to take off on its inaugural long haul flight today (September 24) with the 4.15pm BA269 to Los Angeles.

Dubbed the ‘red carpet route’ due to its destination’s glitz and glamour, the A380 aircraft is the first and only to operate between London and Los Angeles. While more than 318,000 British citizens travel to Los Angeles every year, the launch of the new route is reportedly facilitated by frequent flying celebrities, including Hollywood actress Thandie Newton, actress Gemma Arterton, and South African rugby player, Bryan Habana, to name a few.

The A380 is the world’s largest commercial jet and 16 percent more fuel efficient than its predecessor, the Boeing 747. British Airways’ A380 will have a total of 469 seats over two decks, with four cabins.

Passengers on the inaugural flight will be treated to music from Melanie C and Matt Cardle performing live in Terminal 5, ahead of the flight’s departure. VIP guests on the A380 inaugural flight will be presented with exclusive goodies including luxurious Sunspel pyjamas and a leather Dunhill case. A five-course tasting menu by The Langham is available to First Class customers, including poached lobster, chicken tea and seared scallops.

Thandie Newton, who posed for pictures aboard the aircraft, said earlier: ‘British Airways’ A380 aircraft is like a grand hotel in the sky. It’s luxurious and ultra modern. I feel particularly lucky because I make frequent trips to Los Angeles, and now even a long weekend to LA seems appealing, because the holiday begins as soon as you get on the superjumbo. Who thought travelling could get any more exciting?’

Ernest Wooden Jr, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, said: ‘The home of endless entertainment, Los Angeles is a plethora of exciting and hip new trends from food to fashion, arts to architecture. After reaching a record 41.4 million visitors last year, we’re prepared to reach new heights and with the help of the new A380 route we’re now setting our sights on the 50 million visitors milestone by 2020.’

Return fares to Los Angeles on the A380 start from £508 in World Traveller (economy), £888 in World Traveller Plus (premium economy), £2,092 in Club World (business class) and £5,904 return in First.

Twelve A380s will join the British Airways fleet over the next four years as part of the airline’s £5bn investment in products and services for customers. The aircraft is due to fly to Hong Kong from October 22 and Johannesburg from February next year.

BA set to launch new A380 flight to Johannesburg

British Airways, the UK’s national airline, has announced its plans to fly an Airbus A380 to South Africa starting February next year.

BA’s new A380 route was announced with model Georgia May Jagger and rugby players Chris Robshaw, Jean de Villiers and Bryan Habana.

The BA superjumbo service from London Heathrow to Johannesburg will initially operate three times per week when it launches on February 12, 2014. Effective from March 10, this will increase to six flights per week. The A380 flights will be incorporated into BA’s normal schedule to the city.

Johannesburg is the third destination that the airline plans to serve with the A380. The first, a five-weekly service to Los Angeles, is scheduled to begin on September 24. This will increase to double-daily flights from April 10 next year. The superjumbo is due to begin flying daily to Hong Kong from October 22.

British Airways became the tenth carrier to take delivery of an Airbus A380 in July 2013, the first of 12 super-jumbos that it has on order. The airline has further deliveries due in August and October next year.

BA has configured its A380s to accommodate 469 customers across four cabins. The layout features 14 seats in First on the main deck, followed by 44 Club World seats in a 2-4-2 configuration, then 199 World Traveller economy seats in a 3-4-3 layout. The upper deck will have a further 53 Club World seats in a new 2-3-2 layout, followed by 55 World Traveller Plus seats also configured 2-3-2, and then 104 World Traveller seats in a 2-4-2 layout.

British Airways’ new A380 superjumbo was on display last Saturday, flying in formation with the Red Arrows. The unique flyover was part of the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.

 

British Airways A380 superjumbo flies in formation with Red Arrows

A brand new British Airways A380 double decker superjumbo made its debut at the Royal International Air Tattoo, taking flight with the Red Arrows at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.

Thousands of spectators gathered to see the display of the world’s largest commercial aircraft at the weekend, on a fly-past with the nine Hawks of the RAF’s air show team. British Airways’ senior first officer Peter Nye was at the controls, with Captain Charles Everett in command of the aircraft.

‘It’s been a great privilege to fly alongside the Red Arrows at the Royal International Air Tattoo today. It was a very British celebration,’ Nye said, adding: ‘A lot of work has gone into planning the display and I’m told it was quite a spectacle.’

Supported by the Royal Air Force, with over 250 aircraft participating each year, the world’s leading aerospace companies and more than 130,000 visitors, the Royal International Air Tattoo is recognised as the world’s largest military air show, and also as one of the premier outdoor family events in the UK.

RAF Squadron Leader Mike Ling, Red 10, who handled the safety and technical aspects of the fly-past, said: ‘Putting our Hawk jets behind or alongside an aircraft of the size of the Airbus A380 obviously involves a great deal of precision but the task is essentially the same as the careful flying required for air-to-air refueling with a big tanker aircraft.’

‘Flying in formation with the Airbus A380 was a highlight of our year,’ he said.

Prince Harry was among those who were set to fly as part of the world’s largest military air show at the weekend. The Prince, who earlier this month qualified as an Apache Aircraft Commander, took flight alongside the Red Arrows for a warm-up ahead of The Royal International Air Tattoo which takes place at the airbase.

BA will put the A380 into service on its routes to Los Angeles and Hong Kong in early autumn.

The giant £270million aircraft can carry 469 passengers – almost double the number of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. BA is looking to have a dozen of those in its fleet by 2016.

 

Virgin Atlantic postpones delivery of A380 superjumbos

Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited has decided to delay taking the delivery of six A380 superjumbos that were ordered from Airbus SAS (EAD) over a decade ago, according to Bloomberg.

Virgin Atlantic, which placed an order for the double-deckers in 2000, has ‘deferred them yet again,’ with the first delivery now due in 2018 rather than 2017, said chief executive officer, Craig Kreeger. Among the first carriers to order the A380, Crawley, England-based Virgin was originally due to take the model in 2006.

However, the programme delays at Airbus and the global economic slump have prompted the airline to evaluate its own business model and assess whether it still required the world’s largest jetliner. ‘It’s hard but not impossible to see a world where we want to take the aircraft,’ Kreeger said, adding: ‘It’s not a clear choice.’

While most airlines are opting for new planes such as the A380 for fuel efficiency, Kreeger said that Virgin is focused more on the introduction of Boeing’s 787, with the first of 16 Dreamliner aircraft due in September 2014.

Boeing had several operational problems with the model, which was grounded for three months earlier this year following battery glitches. It was also undergoing investigation after a fire on an Ethiopian Airways Enterprise jet at London Heathrow on July 12.

‘We can’t ignore the technical issues Boeing has faced,’ Kreeger said, adding that any further anomalies would likely be sorted out by the time Virgin gets the plane.

He also said that the regulatory approval for an antitrust-immune joint venture with Delta Air Lines, which holds a 49 percent stake in Virgin, should be received before the year’s end.

Kreeger, who took over as CEO on February 1, is currently pursuing a turnaround plan for the ailing company to revive earnings by 2015.

 

British Airways’ first Airbus 380 lands at Manston

British Airways’ first Airbus 380, the world’s largest commercial passenger aircraft, has landed safely at Manston Airport, Kent, UK.

The Airbus, a recent addition to British Airway’s fleet, will be based at Manston as part of the airline’s training for its pilots, flight crew and cabin staff before the A380s commence service in September.

The A380 is claimed to generate only a quarter of the noise level of the Boeing 747-400 when landing. It also produces 10 percent less NOx emissions and is 16 percent more fuel efficient than the aircraft it replaces. Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines, built at Derby, will power all of BA’s A380s. Nearly 40 percent of the near £300 million cost of each superjumbo – or around £120million – is ‘British made’.

Keith Williams, British Airways chief executive, had commented previously, ‘The A380 is a fantastic aircraft and an excellent showpiece for British engineering. Our customers are going to love the space, light and comfort on board.’ Each A380 aircraft can carry 469 passengers over two decks with four cabins.

When the plane arrived, Manston Airport’s chief executive, Charles Buchanan, said: ‘The reason that British Airways chose here was because of the capacity that we have available and because of the length of our runway and the handling capabilities of our teams and the professionalism of our staff.

‘We have worked very closely with British Airways for six months on this programme – bringing together all sorts of different elements of what we need to put in place: fire service cover; ground services equipment and all sorts of things like that, to make sure we can handle the aircraft efficiently, and being able to demonstrate that to the aviation community is just going to build our reputation.’

Captain David Thomas, British Airways’ head of flight technical and training, said: ‘We are delighted to be based at Manston for the next few weeks.

‘We’ve been made very welcome by everyone at the airport, and hope that the sight of the A380 in the skies over Ramsgate will be a pleasant surprise for local residents and visitors to the area.

‘Manston Airport has the capacity to serve one million passengers per annum today and a deliverable master-plan that accommodates five million or more.’

The airport handles more than 30,000 tonnes of freight a year and has the capacity to deliver 100,000 tonnes in the existing facilities, growing to 400,000 in the future.

BA’s first A380 superjumbo lands at Heathrow

British Airways has become the first airline in the UK to take delivery of an Airbus A380 superjumbo.

The first of 12 superjumbos ordered by BA, the plane landed at Heathrow airport this morning. BA’s A380 will join 12 daily A380 flights from London Heathrow – two by Qantas, three by Singapore Airlines, two by Malaysia Airlines and five by Emirates.

BA said that that the first long-haul flight on the A380 to Los Angeles will be on September 24, with prices starting from £621 return, and the first to Hong Kong will be on October 22 with prices from £688 return. The planes, the world’s largest passenger planes, can carry 469 passengers each.

BA’s chief executive, Keith Williams, said: ‘The A380 is a fantastic aircraft and an excellent showpiece for British engineering. Our customers are going to love the space, light and comfort on board.’

‘The delivery of these exciting aircraft opens a new chapter in British Airways’ history. We are proud to be leading the way in Europe in operating both these aircraft types,’ he added.

The A380’s arrival follows the delivery of two Boeing Dreamliner aircraft last week. BA is currently spending GBP10bn to upgrade its long-haul fleet. It has also bought six new Boeing 777-300ERs and 18 Airbus A350 aircraft.

‘Over the next 15 months, we will take delivery of new aircraft at the rate of one a fortnight as we put ourselves at the forefront of modern aviation,’ Williams said.

BA is Airbus’ tenth customer. The earlier customers include Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Lufthansa, Korean Air, China Southern, Air France and Thai Airways. Singapore Airlines was the first carrier to operate an A380, operating its first flight in October 2008. Virgin Atlantic is due to take the first of the six A380s it has ordered in 2018.

Thai postpones A380 London debut service

Thai Airways has confirmed that it will postpone its A380 service on the Bangkok to London route.

The airline was scheduled to debut the aircraft on the London route from December 1, 2013 following the arrival of its fifth and sixth A380s. However, on July 2 the carrier said that it will not be operating the A380 on the London route until October 30, 2014 – a delay of almost one year. Thai regretted the change of plan, which it said was due to ‘important technical modifications’.

The carrier needs two aircraft to execute a daily service and had planned to use the A380 on one rotation and an A340-600 on its second daily service. It now says that it will continue to serve the route with two daily Boeing 747-400 flights through to the end of the summer 2014 schedule, when it will revert to the planned A380 and A340-600 operation. The B747-400 accommodates nine passengers in first, 40 in business and 325 in economy class. In comparison, the A340-600 seats eight in first, 40 in business and 325 in the economy class.

‘The introduction of the A380 will make flying between London and Bangkok an even more enjoyable and unforgettable experience and we can only apologise for the unforeseen delay,’ the carrier said.

Primarily a leisure spot, Gulf carriers have made major inroads in Thailand with their aggressive pricing and extensive networks. In 2012, one single Gulf-based carrier, Abu Dhabi’s Etihad, carried almost 700,000 passengers in and out of Bangkok – a 38 percent increase in carryings over 2011, and making it one of the busiest routes.

However, when it launches its A380 in London Heathrow next year, Thai Airways will be able to offer passengers the latest facilities in T2, which is scheduled to open in June 2014.