Dubai carrier Emirates will resume a previously suspended second daily service to the Portuguese capital Lisbon and fly its first Airbus A380 to the Lebanese capital Beirut later this year.
The carrier said the returning Lisbon flight would be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER with eight first class, 42 business and 310 economy class seats, along with 20 tonnes of cargo capacity, from June 1.
It previously launched a second daily service to the city in in January 2016 before suspending it the following September.
Portugal saw a 10 per cent increase in tourists last year to 21 million people, with visitors to Lisbon rising 16 per cent.
“Portugal is experiencing an upturn in its economy and strong tourism growth,” said Emirates divisional senior vice president for commercial operations, West, Hubert Frach.
“The second daily service between Dubai and Lisbon will therefore meet growing demand for seats on the route, as well as offer our customers in Portugal and from across Emirates’ worldwide network more choice and flexibility when planning their travel.”
EK193 will leave Dubai a 2:25pm and arrive in Lisbon at 7:40pm.Return journey EK194 will leave Lisbon at 9:15pm and arrive in Dubai at 8:05am the next day.
This contrasts with the current flight, EK191, which leave Dubai at 7:25am and arrives in Lisbon at 12:35pm before EK192 takes off at 2:15pm and arrives in Dubai at 1:10am.
Emirates said it would also fly a special one-off A380 service to Beirut’s Rafic Al Hariri International Airport on March 29 to test the airport’s new superjumbo facilities.
The flight will operate as EK957/958 and leave Dubai at 7:25am before arriving in Beirut at 10:30am, with a 2:15pm return journey for a 7:05pm arrival back in Dubai.
It will have 14 first class, 76 business class and 429 economy class seats.
The flight comes as airport authorities seek to expand capacity to more than 8 million passengers a year.
Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the superjumbo and recently confirmed a $16bn order for at least 20 more superjumbos. The carrier has flown to Beirut since 1991.
Emirates also announced a new route to New Zealand’s Auckland, via Bali, on Monday.