Emirates’ A380 Will Launch Daily Istanbul Flights In October

Emirates has revealed it will launch daily Airbus A380 flights to Istanbul. Commencing on October 1st, it will be the first time that the giant of the skies has flown commercial services to the city, according to the Dubai-based airline.

Emirates, Airbus A380, Istanbul
Emirates is to launch the first scheduled passenger A380 service to Istanbul. Photo: Emirates

Earlier today, Lufthansa bid farewell to its last Airbus A380. However, while some airlines are busy reducing their fleets of the giant, others are taking a different approach. With just two aircraft types in its fleet, Emirates remains committed to the giant of the skies to allow the recovery of its pre-pandemic network.

Emirates Airbus A380 to Istanbul

From October 1st, Emirates will begin flying the Airbus to Istanbul once a day. According to the airline, this will be the first time the giant of the skies has been to Istanbul for scheduled passenger operations. A year ago, Hi Fly’s Airbus A380 completed a technical stop in Istanbul with its preighter jet.

According to Emirates, the flight will operate to the following schedule,

  • EK 123 – Dubai (DXB) 10:45 – Istanbul (IST) 14:25 – four hours 40 minutes.
  • EK 124 – Istanbul (IST) 16:25 – Dubai (DXB) 21:50 – four hours 25 minutes.
Emirates, Airbus A380, Istanbul
The flight to Istanbul takes between four and five hours. Photo: Cirium

The flights will complement two other Emirates services operated by the Boeing 777. According to schedule data from Cirium, the airline will have some competition on the route. Emirates’ partner, flydubai, runs a daily Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight on the route. Meanwhile, Turkish Airlines is scheduled to operate a daily Airbus A330-300 flight, accompanied by twice-daily Boeing 777-300ER flights.

How many Emirates Airbus A380s are now flying?

Over the past months, Emirates has been slowly rebuilding its Airbus A380 network. The entire Boeing 777 fleet had already been returned to service, meaning that the airline needed the giant of the skies to increase capacities and add destinations. According to data from ch-aviation.com, of the 119 Airbus A380s currently in the Emirates fleet, 30 are now active. This equates to roughly a quarter.

Stansted Airport, 30 Years, Terminal Building
Hi Fly’s former Airbus A380 has previously visited Istanbul for a technical stop. Photo: Stansted Airport

The airline isn’t exclusively flying its youngest jets, although the average age of the active fleet is just 4.11 years. The average age of the entire fleet is 7.1 years. The oldest operational aircraft is A6-EEU which is 7.86 years of age. Meanwhile, the youngest jet is A6-EVO which is less than a year old. This aircraft was delivered to Emirates just three months ago.

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Previously, the airline’s President Sir Tim Clark had hoped to get the entire fleet operational by the end of the year, though this seems more and more unlikely the closer we get. The fleet is set to get bigger, though. Emirates has three Airbus A380s remaining on order. These were all due to be delivered in 2022. However, their delivery has been brought forwards to this year to allow the airline to increase its premium economy offering.

What do you make of the new Airbus A380 service to Istanbul? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!