Emirates plans to introduce A380 services between Milan and New York from June 1, and raise superjumbo capacity between Dubai and Milan.
It’s significant on a number of fronts: not only does it mark the airline’s first ‘fifth freedom’ superjumbo route in Europe but it also raises competition with Etihad partner Alitalia on the transatlantic, as well as US carriers, and with fellow Gulf carriers to and from Milan Malpensa.
From June, Emirates will fly two A380s a day to Milan. Currently it operates one, EK091, and it will be joined by the upgraded EK205 which will fly on to New York. The third flight between Dubai and Milan, EK101, will remain a B777-300ER service. Emirates operates ‘fifth freedom’ sectors between Bangkok-Hong Kong and Sydney-Auckland.
Introducing an A380 out of Europe provides Emirates with new European transfer opportunities and complements its direct A380 services to New York, which will rise to triple daily from March 8.
Last November Emirates successfully appealed a decision by the Lazio Regional Administrative Court that its Milan-New York service was illegal, which has paved the way for the latest expansion.