Yesterday, the Dubai-based carrier Emirates operated the first Airbus A380 service to arrive at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport’s new terminal. The airline marked the particular flight to Saudi Arabia by sending its Airbus A380 equipped with a premium economy.
Since it began Airbus A380 operations a decade ago, Emirates has flown the giant of the skies to 73 different airports across the world. However, recently the type has been lacking from the world’s airports due to the ongoing aviation crisis. Despite this, as the world’s largest operator of the type by far, Emirates has already put the giant back to work.
First A380 at Jeddah’s new terminal
Yesterday an Emirates Airbus A380 landed that the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This usually wouldn’t be such a huge deal. However, yesterday was the first time that an Airbus A380 from any airline had landed at the airport and then went on to use its new terminal since it opened.
According to data from RadarBox.com, flight EK2803 departed from Dubai International Airport (DXB) at 15:51, nine minutes ahead of schedule. Following a flight lasting two hours and 42 minutes that cruised at 40,000 feet, the plane touched down in Jeddah at 17:33.
Mohammed Alnahari Alhashmi, Vice President, Commercial Operations, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said,
“Moving to Terminal 1 represents a significant improvement in the customer experience. Emirates customers will have access to world-class amenities, including restaurants, retail outlets, airport lounges and much more. We would like to thank the General Civil Aviation Authority, King Abdulaziz International Airport, and the local authorities…”
A special aircraft for a special flight
Emirates has been flying the A380 to Jeddah for five months now, with a significant portion of its active A380s having been flown on the route. However, for yesterday’s flight, Emirates recognized the special occasion by placing its flagship plane on the route.
The aircraft in question, A6-EVN, is the newest giant in the Emirates fleet, having been delivered to the UAE carrier on December 22nd. The plane is the first, and currently, only one in the fleet to be fitted with the carrier’s new premium economy product.
The new economy cabin is placed at the front of the aircraft’s lower deck, where first class is on British Airways’ Airbus A380s. As opposed to economy’s 3-4-3 layout, the cabin’s seats are in a 2-4-2 configuration, with a total of 56 seats spread across the cabin. Each seat has a pitch of 40 inches and a width of 19.5 inches. You can read more about the seat here.
Initially, after it entered into service, A6-EVN was a regular visitor at London Heathrow Airport, with 50 trips to date, according to data from RadarBox.com as of the end of February. However, the airline was forced to downgague its services when the UK banned flights from the UAE to England. Paris has been another popular spot for the plane with 32 services, while Amman saw the plane three times.
Have you had the chance to fly on Emirates’ premium economy? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!