Emirates will launch a third daily Airbus A380 jet to Manchester to meet growing demand on the route, it announced on Monday.
The A380 will replace the Boeing 777-300ER on the route from January 1, 2017, increasing capacity by 11 per cent and offering 2,198 additional weekly seats on the route.
Flight EK21 will depart from Dubai at 0300hrs and arrive in Manchester at 0700hrs. The return flight EK22 will depart from Manchester at 0845, with a 1945hrs arrival time in Dubai.
Following the launch, all Emirates flights to Manchester will be operated by the double decker aircraft.
“Manchester has been an important destination for Emirates over the last 25 years and the second route launched into the UK after London Gatwick,” a statement said.
The airline expects to reach the one million mark in terms of passengers carried on the route for this financial year.
With 21 weekly flights, the new A380 is hoped to enable further business and leisure travel between Dubai and Manchester, it added.
The new flight will offer 517 seats in a three-class cabin configuration with 14 private suites in first class, 76 flat-bed business class seats and 427 economy seats.
The airline also unveiled plans to swap its current A380 service at Birmingham from the morning to the afternoon departure slot, to offer customers “more connections beyond Dubai to other Emirates A380 destinations,” it said.
From January 1, 2017, the A380 will operate flights EK37/38 instead of flights EK39/40 as it currently does.
Leaving Birmingham at 2045hrs, EK38 will arrive in Dubai at 0740hrs, while EK37 will depart from Dubai at 1450hrs to arrive in Birmingham at 1845hrs.
The A380 service to Birmingham will continue to operate with a two-class configuration aircraft, offering 615 seats in total.
Emirates is the world’s largest operator of A380s with 81 currently in its fleet and a further 61 on order. It currently operates the jumbo Airbus jet to over 40 destinations worldwide.
Last month, it revealed that it will be upgrading one of its four daily flights between Dubai and Johannesburg to an Airbus A380-800 from February 1, 2017.