Emirates is set to operate its first scheduled A380 service to Mumbai on Monday evening.
EK500 will depart Dubai International Terminal 3 at 2155 and arrive in the west coast metropolis at 0230 local time. The return flight departs Mumbai 0430 and arrives in Dubai 0600. These upgraded services were previously operated by B777-300 aircraft.
The A380 will feature 14 first class suites, 76 business class fully-flat seats and 399 seats in economy.
It marks the end of a long negotiating road for Emirates to fly the superjumbo to India, and follows the relaxation of rules by Indian authorities that restricted the use of larger aircraft in order to protect domestic airlines. Four gateway airports – Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad – are now allowed to accommodate A380s.
Emirates senior vice president Ahmed Khoory said: “Emirates has been serving India since our founding year in 1985, and it is our largest market today which we serve with 185 flights each week. We look forward to working with the new government in India to grow India’s economy through enhanced aviation connectivity and to realise India’s ambition to grow its international aviation market to 85 million passengers by 2020.”
Emirates becomes the second airline to deploy the A380 to India, following Singapore Airlines’ superjumbo launch to Delhi and Mumbai at the end of May. The double-decker aircraft enables Emirates to transfer more passengers globally via its main hub in Dubai. Last week the airline started A380 flights to Kuwait.
The Dubai carrier is also deploying larger B777 aircraft to Delhi and Hyderabad to serve growing demand, resulting in an additional 980 one-way weekly seats to Delhi and an extra 672 one-way weekly seats to Hyderabad.