By Mark Caswell www.businesstraveller.com
The first scheduled A380 service from a regional airport has departed Manchester today, with Emirates reporting over 10,000 spectators for the event.
The superjumbo touched down in Manchester at 1225, with “a packed load of passengers on board”, before taking off a few hours later, in the process breaking the airport’s record for the largest number of passengers to depart on a scheduled flight.
The A380 will operate one daily service between Dubai and Manchester, with the other daily flight continuing to be served by a 777 aircraft.
Emirates has taken over Singapore Airlines as the world’s largest operator of the A380, with a total of 12 superjumbos in its fleet, and the carrier’s Executive Vice Chairman Emirates Airline & Group Maurice Flannagan said it has received enquiries from “over 20 airports across the world, asking whether Emirates would fly the A380 to their airports”.
Manchester airport has invested around £10m in upgrading the airport’s infrastructure to accommodate the superjumbo, which will operate on EK017 leaving Dubai daily at 0755 and arriving in Manchester at 1225, and EK018 departing Manchester at 1410, arriving in Dubai at 0015 the next day.
From October 1 Emirates will add Hong Kong to the list of routes served by the A380, followed by the return of the superjumbo to the New York route on October 31.
For more information visit emirates.com.
Report by Mark Caswell