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Dubai’s flagship airline has confirmed that it will begin a 489-seat A380 service to London Heathrow on December 1 and to Auckland and Sydney on February 1, 2009.
The New York service scheduled for October 1 may not be the first for Emirates’ A380s, as the airline is still deciding on whether to launch another route before that, a company official told Emirates Business.
In an official statement, Tim Clark, President of Emirates airlines, said: "While we are still debating our first commercial A380 route, it has always been our intention to fly the aircraft on capacity-constrained trunk routes. The cities that we have now scheduled for A380 services, starting this autumn, bring our plans to fruition.
“Our A380s will take to the skies in late summer, signalling an end to our long wait and ushering in a new era for Emirates. We look forward to bringing [the aircraft] into commercial service.”
Emirates, the first customer for the A380s, will take delivery of five of the double-decker aircraft later this year, after an 18-month delay.
The aircraft on the four routes announced on Sunday will offer 489 seats – 14 in first class, 76 in business and 399 in economy.
Emirates had ordered a total of 58 Airbus A380s. Other configurations in the fleet will feature a medium-range three-class 517-seater; and a medium-range two-class aircraft with 604 seats.
Clark said: “Our customers can rightly anticipate an exhilarating experience on the state-of-the-art aircraft, which will be especially appointed and equipped to Emirates’ exacting standards. We will unveil our exciting in-flight features and facilities shortly.”
The arrival of the first Emirates A380 will prove critical to the airline, which aims to become the world’s largest operator of the super-jumbo.
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