Emirates Plans 5 More Airbus A380 Routes This Year


Emirates has scheduled the A380 to five more cities: Birmingham, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, and Prague, all previously served by the double-decker. It’ll also deploy the two-class, 615-seater to more places. It may seem optimistic and things could change, but we see what is planned.

Emirates, Airbus A380, Capacity
Changes are afoot for Emirates’ A380 operations. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

Birmingham and more to welcome the A380

Emirates will again use the A380 to Birmingham and Kuala Lumpur, returning on July 1st and July 2nd respectively. Schedules were submitted to OAG and are bookable. The routes are currently served up to twice-daily using B777-300ERs, and the return of the quadjet will come after an absence of 28 months.

The A380 will also resume between Dubai and Hong Kong via Bangkok (note that Bangkok itself presently sees the type). It’ll take off on March 27th, the start of the aviation summer season, and will replace the B777-300ER. However, Hong Kong remains badly affected by the pandemic. The schedule of the A380 on all three routes is as follows (all times are local):

  • Dubai-Bangkok-Hong Kong: EK384, 02:50-12:15; 14:00-18:05; A380
  • Hong Kong-Bangkok-Dubai: EK385, 21:30-23:45; 01:15-04:45; A380
  • Dubai-Kuala Lumpur: EK346, 03:10-14:25; A380
  • Kuala Lumpur-Dubai: EK343, 02:40-05:30; A380
  • Dubai-Birmingham: EK39, 07:50-12:35; A380
  • Birmingham-Dubai: EK40, 14:20-00:25+1 the following day; A380
Emirates first used the A380 to Birmingham on March 27th, 2016. A second-daily service by the type began on October 29th, 2017. Photo: Paul Lucas via Flickr.

More routes get two-class A380s

Emirates’ A380s have multiple configurations, including 615 seats, by far the type’s highest density. It comes from removing first class and having a quarter fewer business seats than other configurations. It’s used in more leisure-driven markets.

The two-class layout is currently deployed to Manchester and Frankfurt. However, the German airport is to revert to three-class aircraft from March 27th, with a higher provision of first class seats available. On the same day, Gatwick will once again welcome the two-class config.

Meanwhile, Manchester, Birmingham, Bangkok, and Hong Kong will see 615-seat equipment from July 1st, followed the next day by Kuala Lumpur. In all, four routes – Bangkok, Gatwick, Hong Kong, Manchester – will lose first class capacity by the type, while Birmingham and Kuala Lumpur weren’t scheduled to have it (by the A380) anyway.

Emirates Airlines Airbus A380-861 A6-EUK (2)
Copenhagen and Prague are set to welcome back the type. Prague saw it daily from May 2016, while it was December 2015 for the Danish capital. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

Prague, Copenhagen, and Hong Kong

While it is far away and may change, Emirates has scheduled the A380 to Prague and Copenhagen from October 30th, the first day of the winter season. It’ll replace the B777-300ER, it’s bookable, and the 615-seater will be used.

Prague will lose first class provision, but total Emirates seats will increase by over 70% in exchange. Copenhagen, meanwhile, doesn’t have first class service. It sees 428-seat B777s, by far Emirates’ densest-configured Triple Sevens. However, the change to two-class A380s will mean about a 43% increase in daily capacity.

It looks pretty optimistic, but from the start of winter, Hong Kong is expected to see three daily A380 arrivals, most significantly two non-stops. They’re scheduled as below (all times are local) and are bookable:

  • Dubai-Bangkok-Hong Kong: EK384, 03:05-12:05; 13:45-17:40; A380
  • Hong Kong-Bangkok-Dubai: EK385, 21:00-23:15; 01:05-05:00; A380
  • Dubai-Hong Kong: EK382, 03:15-14:30; A380
  • Hong Kong-Dubai: EK383, 18:00-23:05; A380
  • Dubai-Hong Kong: EK380, 09:55-21:05; A380
  • Hong Kong-Dubai: EK381, 00:35-05:35; A380

What do you make of the plans? Do you think they’ll happen as expected or be delayed? Let us know in the comments.