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Qantas and Emirates spread their A380 wings

12th February 2009 - 17:28 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Two of the first three Airbus A380 operators have announced further development of the route networks they serve with the big double-decker. Qantas is to increase its frequency between Australia and London Heathrow to five times a week from June. And Emirates has launched service from Dubai to Sydney in Australia and Auckland in New Zealand.

Qantas will step up its London service following delivery of its fourth aircraft, which is due to arrive in May. A further three are scheduled to join the fleet before the end of the year, with the balance of the airline’s 20-aircraft order to follow from next year. The airline says it has carried nearly 50,000 passengers in its A380s since launch of service last autumn.

Qantas’ A380s are configured with 450 seats in four classes: 14 suites in first-class, 72 fully flat sleeper seats in business, 32 extra-wide seats with greater recline and legroom in premium economy, and 332 economy seats.

Yesterday Emirates conducted its first A380 service from Dubai to Sydney and onwards to Auckland, carrying more than 400 passengers. The carrier is now serving the route from Dubai every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, and plans to go daily from May.

After the first arrivals in Sydney and Auckland the local press and travel trade were invited for “familiarisation tours” aboard the parked aircraft. The Emirates A380s are famed for their first-class showers, a first in the industry, and 14 first-class suites at the front of the upper deck. The rest of the upper deck is occupied by a business cabin with 76 lie-flat, massage-equipped seats, all with direct aisle access. The main, lower, deck has 399 economy seats.

The Shephard News Team


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