A Giant Return: Emirates Resumes 6 A380 Destinations In 1 Day

Amsterdam, Hamburg, Johannesburg, Madrid, Milan, and Sao Paulo have welcomed back the A380. All but Milan now operate seven-weekly, and Madrid, Milan, and Johannesburg will all see more A380 flights in the coming weeks. Twenty-five airports now see Emirates’ A380s, down from 52 in the same week in 2019. There is a long way to go.

Emirates A380
Emirates has used the A380 to Hamburg since October 2018. Photo: Emirates.

Six more destinations again see the A380

October 31st, the start of the aviation winter season, saw Emirates once again deploy the A380 to Amsterdam, Hamburg, Johannesburg, Madrid, Milan Malpensa, Sao Paulo Guarulhos. This came about a week after the A380 was once again used to Düsseldorf.

The A380 served all of these destinations until March 2020, when the pandemic started to bite, and more restrictions came into effect. However, some were scheduled to see the A380 on a limited-time basis during the summer of 2020. Most of the six have been served for some years, as indicated by OAG:

  • Johannesburg first saw Emirates’ A380 in October 2011
  • Amsterdam in August 2012
  • Milan in December 2014 (aside from two one-offs in 2011/2012)
  • Madrid in August 2015
  • Sao Paulo in March 2017 (and a one-off in November 2015)
  • Hamburg in October 2018 (and a one-off in 2011)

What flights do they operate?

In the current week, these six destinations have 41 departures from Dubai by the A380. All are seven-weekly except Milan, which is presently six-weekly. Milan will rise to daily from December when the aircraft will instead be on EK205, leaving Dubai at 09:05, in the primary Europe-bound bank of departures.

While the A380 exclusively serves Madrid and Sao Paulo, the other four also see the B777-300ER. In the current week, Milan welcomes seven-weekly B777-300ER flights (continuing to JFK), Amsterdam and Johannesburg three-weekly apiece, and Hamburg two-weekly.

  • Johannesburg: EK761, leaving Dubai at 04:40; four-weekly A380 flights
  • Madrid: EK141, leaving Dubai at 07:25; seven-weekly A380
  • Amsterdam: EK147, 08:10; seven-weekly A380
  • Hamburg: EK059, 08:50; seven-weekly A380
  • Sao Paulo: EK261, 09:05; seven-weekly A380
  • Johannesburg: EK763, 10:05; three-weekly A380
  • Milan: EK091, 15:55; six-weekly A380
Emirates, Airbus A380, Return
In the current week, Emirates has 42 departures by the A380 from Dubai to Heathrow. Cairo, Frankfurt, Jeddah, Manchester, New York JFK, and Paris CDG follow with 14 apiece. Photo: Getty Images.

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25 airports see Emirates’ A380s this week

Twenty-five airports across Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific now see Emirates’ A380s. This is down from 52 in the same week in 2019, OAG reveals, showing how much work there is still to do.

An important reason is a lack of service by the type to Asia-Pacific, with the recovery to this region slower than most. Currently, only Guangzhou sees the A380 and only once a week. In the examined week in 2019, 18 airports across Asia-Pacific saw the double-decker, with seven destinations having between 14 and 28 weekly departures from Dubai.

Emirates A380
Emirates will use the A380 from Dubai to Sydney in December. Photo: Dubai Airports.

The Asia-Pacific recovery

It’ll be a slow, gradual recovery there, but it’ll be helped by more borders reopening, including Thailand and Australia. However, Australia is currently limited to Australian citizens and permanent residents and their families.

At the time of writing, Shanghai and Sydney will see the A380 in December, followed by Beijing, Hong Kong, Melbourne, and Perth in March. Expect things to change again.

What do you make of the Emirates increasingly returning the A380 to service? Let us know in the comments.