Emirates A380 Makes First London Stansted Trip To Pick Up Arsenal

Emirates’ Airbus A380 is making its first trip to London Stansted Airport. The airline is flying the giant of the skies to pick up the Arsenal football club ahead of the Florida Cup. By picking up the football team that it sponsors, Emirates will operate the third Airbus A380 to visit London’s low-cost hub.

Emirates, Airbus A380, London Stansted
Emirates is flying an Airbus A380 to London Stansted Airport for the first time (not pictured). Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

London Stansted Airport was the fourth busiest in the UK and the third busiest in London in 2019. Despite this, the Airbus A380 is a rare visitor to the airport. While Emirates’ London Stansted service remains suspended, this didn’t stop the airline from pulling out all the stops to fly the Arsenal team to Florida.

Dubai – London Stansted – Orlando

This morning one of Emirates’ newest Airbus A380s, a jet registered as A6-EVN, departed from Dubai at 09:54. According to data from FlightRadar24.com, the plane is flying to London Stansted as flight EK2545, where it will arrive at roughly 13:45 local time. At the time of writing, the empty A380 was just about to enter Bulgarian airspace.

As mentioned, the flight is empty. While London Stansted is a perfectly normal destination for Emirates with the Boeing 777, the route, along with its London Gatwick service, remains suspended. The jet is going to pick up the Arsenal football club. The team will compete in the Florida Cup, playing Inter Milan on Sunday, July 25th.

It seems the aircraft will remain on the ground in Stansted overnight. While no set time of departure is scheduled, we know that the aircraft is due to arrive at Orlando International Airport tomorrow at around 18:15 as EK2456.

Only the fourth A380 to visit Stansted

With this flight, A6-EVN will be the third Airbus A380 to visit London Stansted Airport. The first aircraft to visit was British Airways’ first Airbus A380, G-XLEA. The plane visited in July 2013. Rather than operating passenger flights, XLEA visited London’s low-cost gateway on a training flight ahead of its entry to service.

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It seems football is a bit of an A380 magnet at Stansted. The first passenger A380 flight came just over two years ago. Hi Fly’s only Airbus A380, 9H-MIP, visited the airport for a charter flight to pick up passengers heading to Baku for the Europa League Final being held in Baku. The flight helped Stansted boost its monthly passenger figure.

Emirates, Airbus A380, London Stansted
Only two other Airbus A380s have ever used London Stansted Airport. Photo: London Stansted Airport

Now, A6-EVN will become the third A380 to use the airport and the second to operate a charter flight. A6-EVN is the airline’s third oldest A380 and was the first to be delivered with the carrier’s new premium economy cabin when it arrived at the airline in December.

Sadly, A6-EVN may well be the last A380 to visit Stansted. With many airlines retiring the type, including HiFly with its charted A380, the options of flying to the airport are pretty limited. Emirates is unlikely to fly the A380 to London’s third airport due to a lack of gates designed to handle the giant.

Update: 10:25 UTC July 21st, 2021 – The flight to Orlando has now been canceled. Read more here.

Are you excited to see another Airbus A380 flying to London Stansted? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!

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