Dubai carrier Emirates has announced that it will upgrade one of its daily Boeing 777-300 services to an A380, starting from December.
The service, which will be the first ever permanently scheduled A380 service to Milan, will help boost capacity by around 38 per cent, the airline said in a statement.
The carrier’s triple daily service connecting Dubai to Milan is currently operated with a mix of Boeing 777-300 and 777-300ER aircraft with one of these services continuing to New York.
“Introducing the Emirates flagship A380 service underscores our commitment to further developing the economic and tourism potential of Italy’s regions and cities,” said Thierry Antinori, Emirates’ executive vice president and chief commercial officer.
“We continue to support the Lombardy region as well as the Italian economy primarily by bringing in tourists and business travellers from both mature and emerging markets in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. These regions are known for their demographic growth and economic diversity.”
Emirates upgrade comes ahead of Milan Expo 2015, for which 20 million visitors are expected to visit the city while three million are estimated to travel from other parts of the world.
“The permanent arrival of the A380, the largest aircraft in the world, to Malpensa is a big boost of confidence that Emirates has given the airport,” said Giuliano Pisapia, mayor of Milan.
“Almost two thousand additional seats per week will support the increase of traffic from all over the world to Milan.”
Emirates, which consist of 53 A380s, is the largest operator of the superjumbo jets and has services from Dubai to 30 other destinations.
The airline recently launched an A380 service to Dallas while flying a one-off to Tehran earlier this month. Emirates is also slated to operate a special service to Manila on October 7 to mark its move to Terminal 3 at Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Barcelona, London Gatwick, Zurich, Kuwait, Mumbai and Frankfurt were the other routes on which Emirates launched an A380 service in 2014.