Return Of The Giant: Emirates Will Fly The A380 To 18 Cities This Summer

As the final-ever A380 undergoes testing before delivery to Emirates, the airline will fly the type to 18 cities this summer. Emirates has used the A380 to 73 airports from Dubai since 2011.

Emirates A380
Heathrow has been by far Emirates’ top destination for the A380 in the past 10 years. Photo: Getty Images

18 routes for Emirates’ A380s this summer

Emirates is scheduled to use its A380s on 18 routes from Dubai this summer, down from 57 in summer 2019. Things have inevitably changed, but there can barely be anything more understandable than not needing very large aircraft during the current crisis, considering the very high cost per trip.

Heathrow, Cairo, Paris CDG, Johannesburg, and Manchester are due to be the top-five A380 routes for Emirates this coming season. Heathrow has suffered greatly from the ban between the UK and UAE, where people cannot enter the UK if they’ve been in or transited through the UAE. This excludes certain people, including British citizens, who must quarantine in a hotel for 10 days on arrival.

Yet, Emirates flights are still bookable from Heathrow, but not to it; quite a development. Presumably, freight is still being carried. Flights to Heathrow are bookable from May 18th, the carrier’s website shows, the day after the earliest point the UK will end its ban on foreign holidays. Emirates expects 35 weekly flights to Heathrow that week, 28 by the A380.

Later this summer, Emirates has 42 weekly flights bookable, the same as in summer 2019, with 35 by the A380.

The 18 A380 routes can be seen in the map below.

Emirates A380 routes this summer
Emirates’ A380 routes this summer are down from 57 in summer 2019. While Heathrow, Cairo, CDG, Johannesburg, and Manchester will be top, Beijing, Shanghai, Washington, Guangzhou, and Munich will have the fewest seats. Image: GCMap

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The A380 from Dubai to Cairo and Amman

Cairo and Amman are perhaps Emirates’ more interesting A380 routes this summer. Cairo first received the type on a scheduled basis back in 2019; it initially operated four-weekly from October 27th. At 1,503 miles, Cairo is Emirates’ third-shortest route by the aircraft, behind Jeddah (1,057 miles) and Amman (1,258).

The Egyptian capital will be the network carrier’s second-thickest A380 route this summer. It will see 14 weekly flights, up from seven previously, although it’ll revert back to its seven-weekly offering from the start of winter.

Amman will be Emirates’ seventh-largest A380 route. It first operated the route on a regular basis in 2019, when it was seven-weekly for 22 weeks from June to October in response to higher summer demand. This coming summer, it’ll again operate once-daily.

Emirates A380
Jeddah, Amman, and Cairo are Emirates’ shortest routes this summer. Before coronavirus, it was Muscat.      Photo: Getty Images.

A380 served 73 airports in the past decade

Emirates’ A380s have been responsible for over 193 million seats across the decade of 2011-2021, according to OAG data. In this period, it has used the type to 73 airports. Almost all have been normally scheduled, but a number have been one-offs or thereabouts, including Accra, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Clark, Islamabad, Manila, Orlando, and Warsaw.

Based on total seats, Emirates’ top-10 A380 airports were:

  1. Heathrow (with nearly 80% more seats than #2)
  2. Bangkok
  3. New York JFK
  4. Paris CDG
  5. Hong Kong
  6. Auckland
  7. Jeddah
  8. Sydney
  9. Manchester
  10. Gatwick
Emirates' A380 routes to Europe since 2011
Including one-offs, Emirates has used the A380 to 25 European airports since 2011. Image: GCMap

Western Europe key for Emirates’ A380s

The A380 has revolved around the UK, with nearly 34 million seats – around 18% of the total – followed by the USA, Australia, Germany, Thailand, France, China, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Saudi Arabia.

It’s no surprise that Emirates’ A380 has been especially significant to/from Western Europe, with this region seeing over 80 million seats, four times as many as the next-largest area of Northeast Asia.