Emirates is sending their iconic A380 back to New York’s JFK Airport in June. The Dubai-based airline was slated to return the mega jumbo to New York in July. But they’ve now brought that forward a month. The A380 will be back at JFK for the first day of summer.
The Emirates A380 is back at JFK from June 1
From June 1, EK201/202, the daily Dubai-New York-Dubai services will resume using the A380. Presently, Emirates is using a Boeing 777-300ER on the route. The upgrade is now reflected in the Emirates booking engine.
EK201 departs Dubai at 08:30 (local time) daily for the 14-hour nonstop hop across to New York. The flight lands at 14:25 on the same day. After nine and a half hours on the ground, EK202 leaves New York at 23:00 on the same day, heading out across the Atlantic and Europe to arrive in Dubai at 19:45 the following day.
Simple Flying has confirmed this is not a timetabling error. A Boeing 777-300ER continues to operate Emirates’ second New York service, EK203/204.
A welcome return to form for a popular Emirates A380 route
Over the past decade, the A380 was a star performer for Emirates on this route. In terms of passenger numbers, Emirates has flown 9.3 million people on their A380s on this route over the last ten years. Before the travel downturn reined in Emirates’ schedules, the airline usually operated three return A380 services a day to New York.
In addition to New York, Emirates flew its flagship A380s to over fifty destinations worldwide in 2019. Now, the airline deploys the plane to less than half that number of cities. But with New York and some other cities coming back onto the A380 timetables, the number of cities Emirates is sending their A380s to continues to inch up slowly.
Typically, the United States is a big market for Emirates and sees a lot of their A380s. But last year, Emirates grounded their A380s and left their scaled-back schedules to their Boeing 777s. Within a matter of months, Emirates had some A380s back in the air but primarily focused on serving destinations in Europe and the UK. Initial plans to fly the plane back to New York late in the 2020 summer did not come to fruition.
Emirates slowly increasing its A380 footprint this summer
This summer, the scenario is somewhat sunnier but still short of the substantial Emirates A380 2019 United States footprint. In addition to New York’s JFK Airport, the Emirates A380 will make its presence felt at Washington Dulles and Los Angeles International over the summer. The A380 will also fly into Toronto’s Pearson International Airport in neighboring Canada.
Experts predict it will take some years for international travel to rebound to 2019 levels. Even then, airports like JFK are likely to see fewer A380s than they did before. The two other big airlines out of the Gulf region, Etihad and Qatar Airways, are likely to turn their backs on the A380. Air France has retired its A380. The future looks dark for the A380 at Lufthansa, Thai Airways, and China Southern Airlines.
Alongside Emirates, only British Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Qantas have publicly reaffirmed their commitment to the A380.
Emirates looks set to keep flying the A380 for another decade at least. With the New York route previously proving a success for Emirates’ A380s, even if other airlines axe their A380s, the Emirates A380 should keep landing at JFK for a while yet.