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Ten Markets Ripped For Emirates High Capacity A380 Service

Emirates A380 Business Class Bar

We reported that Emirates just started Airbus A380 service to Copenhagen on board a new 615 seat two class configuration (News – December 1, 2015). Experience The Skies reviewed the Middle East airlines’ existing A380 operations and determine ten markets that can benefit from using this type of aircraft.

Emirates

Emirates currently operate the A380-800 to 38 markets including 18 of the 30 busiest airports by passengers (Insight – March 31, 2015).

Emirates Operation Top 30 Airport Breakdown
Emirates Operation Top 30 Airport Breakdown

Of the 38, eight have fifth freedom operations (i.e. the right for an airline to fly between two foreign countries during flights while the flight originates or ends in one’s own country) including:

  • Hong Kong <> Bangkok
  • New York JFK <> Milan Malpensa
  • Auckland <> Sydney
  • Auckland <> Melbourne
  • Auckland <> Brisbane

Previous Announcement

Emirates previously announced the following new service with the high capacity A380-800 as part its expansion efforts:

  • Dubai to Copenhagen on EK151/152 as of December 1, 2015
  • Dubai to Bangkok on EK376/377 as of December 1, 2015
  • Dubai to London Gatwick on EK9/10 as of January 1, 2016 (News – August 6, 2015)
  • Dubai to Kuala Lumpur on EK342/343 as of January 1, 2016

Reasons Why Higher Capacity Is Welcomed

  1. Lower demand for premium cabin service in certain  markets
  2. Lower demand for premium cabin service due to price sensitivity
  3. Untapped market demand in certain markets
  4. Regulations that restrict access to more frequencies or premium market offerings
  5. Congested airports where preferred slots are hard to obtain

10 High Capacity A380 Candidates

The following is a list of ten markets with EK service currently that can also benefit from the higher capacity version (most already ahve A380 service):

Emirates A380 High Capacity Candidates
Emirates A380 High Capacity Candidates
  • Toronto  (YYZ) – EK is restricted in the number of flights available to this city. The new configuration can increase capacity without increasing frequencies.
  • Istanbul (IST) – This is the only market without any A380 service currently as there is a restriction on EK offering a first class service to Turkey. This new version will add capacity while solves the restriction.
  • Madrid (MAD) – Leisure market / lower premium class demand
  • Rome (FCO) – Leisure market / lower premium class demand
  • Barcelona (BCN) – Leisure market / lower premium class demand
  • Perth (PER) – Leisure market / lower premium class demand
  • Manchester (MAN) – Leisure market / lower premium class demand. This might change if Emirates decide to operate a mini hub here.
  • Kuwait City (KWI) – Currently the shortest A380 flight in the system (News – December 1, 2014)
  • Mumbai (BOM) –  Highly congested, the Middle East airline can increase capacity without adding difficult to get frequency
  • Manila (MNL) – Emirates used to have A380 service at Philippines’ capital. The high capacity version will add more supply to the traditionally low yield market.

Are there other markets you think would be suitable for the high capacity aircraft?

2 thoughts on “Ten Markets Ripped For Emirates High Capacity A380 Service

  1. Funny you should mention EK and PER. Was flying back to NZ on Friday evening when an EK A380 taxied to the terminal after landing. Seems a very narrow market for running the big bird.

    1. Perth handles about 15 million passengers yearly. It does not have any non-stop flights to Europe currently.
      For 2014, there were ~4.1 million international passengers travelling thru Perth. Emirates is 4th and served 492k.

      While some of the long haul planes can cover the distance to Europe non-stop, relying just on O&D traffic may not be ideal. With its QF partnership, EK has the benefit of capturing many travellers from Western Australia who wants to connect to Europe, Western Asia (India), Africa without backtracking to Sydney first. These travellers would be provided with a lot more connection opportunities than SQ, TG, etc at Dubai International. Providing seamless A380 flights is something EK has been marketing. In fact, for 2014, its overall load factor in Australia is over 80% (even with A380s).

      Using the higher capacity A380 is better for Perth has it does not require a 2nd frequency. Further, its premium market is smaller than Melbourne, Sydney and may be even Brisbane.

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