Emirates will start eagerly awaited A380 services to Mumbai from July 21.
EK500 and EK501 between Dubai and Mumbai will be up-scaled to a three-class A380 aircraft, with a capacity increase of 2,127 seats per week in each direction.
In addition, Emirates will deploy larger B777 aircraft to Delhi and Hyderabad to serve growing demand. Delhi will have 980 additional one-way weekly seats while Hyderabad will increase its capacity to add 672 one-way weekly seats.
The moves follow lengthy bilateral discussions between the governments of Dubai and India, which provide a phased increase of 11,000 seats for Dubai carriers. Emirates flew a ‘one off’ A380 to India in 2010, to mark 25 years of flights, and has been knocking on the capacity door ever since.
Airport infrastructure, historically another impediment, has been improved too and Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport received A380 certification from the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation in April.
Opening up the Mumbai market to A380s has significant implications for Emirates, not solely in terms of origin and destination traffic to and from Dubai, but also transfer traffic via its global network. Passengers flying between Mumbai-London, or Mumbai-New York, for example, will soon be able to fly the double-decker throughout their journey.