Emirates Operates Airbus A380 On All London Flights By 2016

Emirates Airbus A380-800

Emirates

Without a doubt, Emirates already has the most number of seats going from two London airports (Heathrow (LHR) and Gatwick (LGW)) to Dubai International Airport (DXB). This number will increase when the Middle Eastern airline operates all Airbus A380-800s starting January 1, 2016.

Details

Emirates was the first airline to operate the double-decker aircraft into London Heathrow Airport back in December 2008 with EK1 and EK2.

Emirates Dubai to London A380 History

Emirates Dubai to London A380 History – Information taken from a380flights.net and Business Traveller’s website. Infographic created by Experience The Skies on August 6, 2015 (All Rights Reserved)

It was not until January 2012 that Emirates added more A380s onto this route replacing older Airbuses and Boeing 777s.  By the end of that year, it was already operating five daily flights using this aircraft type.

By 2014, while the airline would like to add more flights to LHR, it faced with the challenge of a congested airport with no additional operating slots available.  This is when it decided to upgauge flights to LGW with the A380. The first change was completed in March 2014 with the second moved up to April of this year. The third daily flight (EK11/12) will be using this aircraft by January 1, 2016 (refer to this news release for more information).

The following is the updated schedule from DXB to LGW starting on that date:

Emirates Dubai to London Gatwick January 1 2016

Emirates Dubai to London Gatwick January 1 2016 – Information taken from Google Flight. Infographic created by Experience The Skies on August 6, 2015 (All Rights Reserved)

With the new deployment, Emirates will add upwards to another ~130 seats per flight (up to ~1,800 seats per week). Most of this capacity increase will be in the economy cabin.

Market Perspective

Emirates will continue to be the only airline in the world flying DXB-LGW non-stop. From an overall London perspective, it will have 10 Airbus A380 daily non-stop flights when combined with key partner Qantas Airways (QR)’s two times daily operation. This represents 71% of the overall flights between these two cities and more than 75% of the seats available as the other airlines British Airways (BA), Virgin Atlantic Airways (VS) and Royal Brunei Airlines (BI) service the route with smaller capacity aircrafts.

Emirates Dubai to London Market Analysis

Emirates Dubai to London Market Analysis – Information taken from Google Flight. Infographic created by Experience The Skies on August 6, 2015 (All Rights Reserved)

Additionally, with more frequencies available, Emirates is able to feed more traffic to/from Asia/Australia/Africa into the London area.  As shown by the infographic below, part of Emirates strategic direction is to provide more connections for passengers. It currently operates non-stop flights to 40+ destinations in Asia (including India and Middle East), 7 in Australia/New Zealand and 20+ in Africa.

Emirates Destination Counts

Emirates Destination Counts – Information taken from airline’s website. Infographic created by Experience The Skies on August 6, 2015 (All Rights Reserved)

 

With slightly lower prices, more frequencies/connection options and a competitive on-board product (refer to our coverage on Emirates providing free WiFi for all travellers here), the airline may be able to capture more passengers sacrificing non-stop flights and fly one-stop via Dubai International Airport. This strategy has proven to be very successful as a fourth daily Airbus A380 to Bangkok was just announced (refer to news release for more information).

London Gatwick

Given LGW is classified as a leisure market with more low cost carriers operating there, it is a likely candidate for the 615 seat two-class configuration A380. This high density configuration will be introduced by Emirates on DXB to Copenhagen Airport (CPH) starting December 1, 2015.

Final Call

Given the availability of the Airbus A380 in its fleet, Emirates is able to expand its marketshare without adding more flights into a high competitive market like London. By January 1, 2016, it will operate 8 daily flights to London which will further put pressure on other airlines to compete on items such as price, product innovation and marketing.

2 thoughts on “Emirates Operates Airbus A380 On All London Flights By 2016”

    1. experiencetheskies

      It is unlikely that Emirates will replace the Boeing 777 on the afternoon flight out of Beijing with an Airbus A380 at this time. We will be working on a future on likely cities with A380 service on an upcoming post. Stay tuned.

Comments are closed.