Dubai’s Emirates airline has added Frankfurt to its growing list of A380 destinations, now serving 30 global destinations with the A380.
Thierry Antinori, Emirates' Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer arrived on the launch flight, said: "We are proud to fly our A380 to one of the key aviation hubs in Europe. The financial capital of Germany continues to be a significant point for us so it is only fitting for us to operate our flagship product to the city. Emirates has redefined travel with its A380. First and Business Class passengers have access to the Onboard Lounge, which has become a popular gathering place for passengers at 40,000 feet. On the ground, they can access our world-class lounges and benefit from Chauffer Drive Services to and from the airport. The 14 First Class suites available on our A380 give discerning travellers the time and space to relax with a host of thoughtful luxury touches. Travellers in all classes can use the on-board Wi-Fi, and be entertained by the award-winning ice system with over 1,800 channels of inflight entertainment on demand.
"Deploying larger capacity aircraft like the A380 is fundamental to helping us meet growing passenger demand between this dynamic economic region and the evolving economies of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, through efficient connections via our Dubai hub. The positive effects of more inbound tourism from the Middle East, Gulf and Asia-Pacific regions into Frankfurt will also be demonstrated with the arrival of the A380, based on our experience when we introduced the aircraft to Munich," continued Antinori.
With over 500 passengers on board, the inaugural Emirates A380 flight EK45 was led by Captain Gaetan Herkens and German First Officer Alexander Braun, who proudly waved the regional state flag of Hesse upon arrival.
Dr. Stefan Schulte, Chairman of the Executive Board of Fraport AG: "Emirates' decision to upgrade one of its three daily flights from Frankfurt with an A380 service represents another milestone for Frankfurt Airport. We were amongst the very first airports ever to be ready for the Airbus A380. The operation of the latest generation of wide-bodied aircraft at our airport further strengthens our role as international air traffic hub. We thank Emirates for the long-standing partnership and look forward to daily welcome the airline's flagship at Frankfurt."
Emirates' growing A380 network means travellers from Frankfurt wishing to visit destinations such as Mauritius, Mumbai, Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai or Sydney, now have the chance to experience a seamless Emirates A380 experience connecting through Dubai.
The 519 seat A380 deployed on the Frankfurt to Dubai route offers 14 Private Suites in First Class, 76 full-flat bed seats in Business Class and 429 seats in Economy Class. Flight EK45 leaves Dubai at 0825hrs and lands at Frankfurt Airport at 1315hrs. The return flight EK46 departs Frankfurt at 1520hrs and arrives back at Concourse A, the home of the Emirates A380 and the world's first purpose-built facility for the aircraft at Dubai International Airport at 2335hrs.
Passengers travelling on Emirates benefit from a generous baggage allowance of 30kg in Economy Class, 40kg in Business Class and 50 kg in First Class. Frequent flyers and passengers travelling in premium classes can also access dedicated Emirates lounges in Dubai and Frankfurt, part of Emirates' global network of 36 lounges.
To watch a time lapse video on the making of Emirates' 50th A380 aircraft which was delivered last month, see link below. All of Emirates' A380s have been furnished and delivered via the Airbus facility in Hamburg.
With 51 A380s in its fleet, Emirates is the largest operator of the Airbus superjumbo, carrying over 28 million passengers across the globe on this iconic aircraft since 2008. Emirates is also the largest A380 customer with 89 more aircraft pending delivery, a share of the A380 programme which alone is estimated to support approximately 12,000 direct German jobs. German aeronautical businesses contribute to the production of the aircraft's engines, wings, ice entertainment system, lighting and on-board shower features, and over €200 million is spent each year by Emirates for the operation and maintenance of these components, according to a study by the Institute of Air Transport and Airport Research (DLR). Emirates also depends on small and medium sized German suppliers of aircraft products and services for parts like galleys, aircraft upholstery, paints and ground handling equipment worth hundreds of millions of Euros each year.
So far in 2014, Emirates has introduced A380 services to Barcelona, London Gatwick, Zurich, Kuwait, Mumbai and Frankfurt. It will soon launch A380 services to Dallas Fort Worth on 1 October, San Francisco on 1 December and Houston on 3 December.