Emirates Ups Its Winter Schedule Including Zurich A380 Flights

Emirates is boosting its schedule to Zurich for the winter season. Starting October 1st, the carrier will serve the Swiss hub with a daily Airbus A380 service from Dubai. Emirates is also adding another service to Zurich, which will operate four times weekly using a 777-300ER.

Emirates Airbus A380-861 A6-EOM
After a one-month break, the A380 is returning to Zurich in full swing for the winter season. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Back again

According to aeroTELEGRAPH, Emirates is ramping up its flights to Zurich for the winter season. The new schedule will see 11 direct connections between Dubai and Switzerland’s largest city, bringing it closer to pre-pandemic levels. This will be made possible by two services, EK87/88 will operate daily while EK85/86 will resume flying four times a week.

Emirates has also upgraded the EK87/88 service back to the A380 with effect from October 1st. Zurich already saw the superjumbo during July and August to cater to rebounding summer demand. However, the route was downgraded back to the 777-300ER from September onward. Now, the A380 is back again and, this time, likely to stay.

Emirates, Airbus A380, August Schedule
The 77W will fly EK87/88 through September before handing back to the A380, a usually rare occurrence. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

The return of the second flight to Zurich is another sign of strong demand this winter. EK85/86 has been suspended since late March 2020 due to the pandemic and only made a one-off return in December near Christmas. However, with Switzerland reopening its borders to foreign tourists, Emirates is bringing back this former A380 route, but using the 77W for now.

This 777 service will operate on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and will reprise its old timings too. EK85 will leave Dubai at 15:55 and land at 19:50 local times. EK86 will depart Zurich at 21:55 and return home at 07:10 AM local time the next day.

Meanwhile, the daily A380 flight leaves Dubai at 08:40 AM and lands at 13:20 local time. The return leg departs Zurich at  15:25 and arrives home at 23:45 local time. The schedule remains unchanged.

Beyond the peak

While tourism traffic to Switzerland peaks out in July-August, Emirates is expecting a bump in traffic over the winter too. This is likely due to Switzerlands’ relatively relaxed border policies, which allow most vaccinated tourists from around the globe to enter. Combined with ski season from January onwards, 2022 could be a rebound year for airlines and Swiss tourism.

Emirates is seizing every chance of higher traffic as the countries slowly open their borders after over a year of closure. Photo: Emirates

However, it’s not only Zurich feeling the love from Emirates. The Dubai-based airline is also continuing its daily services into Geneva, providing passengers more flexibility to their destinations. Flag carrier SWISS also operates the DXB-ZRH route, but Emirates’ two flights will likely dominate the traffic.

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Zurich was one of three A380 routes that were dropped for September. While the Swiss city has found its way back, there’s no news on whether Rome and Madrid can expect a similar superjumbo return next month. For now, the A380’s operations remain limited, with Emirates willing to downgrade routes wherever required. A full return of the superjumbo remains a long way ahead, but there are still many chances to fly the bird.

What do you think about Emirates’ decision to upgrade the Zurich route? Let us know in the comments!