London follows New York as Emirates A380 destination
Emirates today launched daily A380 operations to London, declaring that some of the expensive service innovations introduced on the big Airbus are already proving their worth.
The Dubai carrier’s A380s – the first of three delivered to date entered service in August - feature a pair of showers in first-class and an onboard lounge. “The showers and lounge have already proved a big hit with customers,” says airline president Tim Clark. “Around 75 per cent of our first-class passengers are using the showers, while the lounge has proved popular with passengers when they can tear themselves away from our ICE inflight entertainment service.” ICE is based on Panasonic’s eX2 hardware.
The A380 now dedicated to Dubai-Heathrow is configured with 489 seats, representing a 40 per cent increase in capacity compared with the Boeing 777 used until today. The whole of the upper deck is dedicated to premium passengers, with 14 first-class suites, plus the showers, located at the front. The rest of the upper deck is given over to 76 business-class flatbed seats, all with direct aisle access.
At the rear of the upper deck and open to premium passengers is the onboard lounge, with divan seating and a bar offering drinks and canapés. Another first-class social area with drinks facilities is located at the front of the upper deck.
The first two A380s delivered to Emirates were introduced on Dubai-New York in August and October. The airline plans to offer A380 service to Sydney and Auckland from February.
The airline has ordered a total of 58 A380s. Its fourth aircraft is due this month and the fifth in February, though this will probably slip to March.