Emirates is increasing its Airbus A380 schedule to London and other destinations in the United Kingdom after the UAE was taken off of the UK’s red list. This once again enables more accessible travel between the two countries, especially for those who have been vaccinated in the UK, EU, or US.
The United Kingdom, particularly London, has long been a vital destination for the Dubai-based giant, Emirates. Before the pandemic, the country counted for a staggering 25% of the airline’s total capacity. As such, you can see why the airline is keen to rebuild in the market.
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Upping Airbus A380 capacity
Yesterday, Emirates started rebuilding its London network after months of harsh government travel restrictions. The airline is now operating triple-daily Airbus A380 flights to the nation’s capital. While these used the be spread across London airports, they are currently only using London Heathrow.
It doesn’t stop there, though. By October, the world’s largest Airbus A380 operator hopes to be flying to Heathrow six times per day, with four of these flights being operated by the giant of the skies. Meanwhile, Manchester will also have double daily A380 flights by October, while Birmingham will get ten services a week. Glasgow will have a daily flight.
Emirates revealed that it had optimized its schedule for easy connections to the UK from around the world. With so many flights heading to the country’s capital, that doesn’t sound like a complex task.
Specifically, the airline mentioned that connections were optimized from Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Lusaka. These are all currently red list destinations, meaning direct flights to the UK are generally not possible. Now that the UAE has been taken off the red list, Emirates will likely become a popular choice for those connecting from many red list countries.
A typical day of pre-pandemic UK flights
While Emirates’ UK ambitions show a substantial recovery of its UK network, it still falls a long way off of the airline’s pre-pandemic schedule to the city. On August 12th, 2019, Emirates operated 20 flights to the UK according to aviation data experts Cirium. 15 of these flights were conducted by the Airbus A380, with over 9,000 seats available to the country each day. Over half of these were to London,
- Birmingham (BHX) – 2x Airbus A380 – 978 seats
- Edinburgh (EDI) – 1x Boeing 777 – 400 seats
- Glasgow (GLA) – 1x Boeing 777, 1x Airbus A380 – 889 seats
- London Gatwick (LGW) – 3x Airbus A380 – 1,468 seats
- London Heathrow (LHR) – 6x Airbus A380 – 2,934 seats
- Manchester (MAN) – 3x Airbus A380 – 1,468 seats
- Newcastle (NCL) – 1x Boeing 777 – 400 seats
- London Stansted (STN) – 2x Boeing 777 – 800 seats
For comparison, exactly two years later, Emirates has just five flights scheduled to the UK today,
- Birmingham (BHX) – 1x Boeing 777 – 400 seats
- London Heathrow (LHR) – 1x Boeing 777, 2x Airbus A380 – 1,359 seats
- Manchester (MAN) – 1x Boeing 777 – 428 seats
This gives a total of 2,187 seats, a far lower capacity than pre-pandemic.
What do you make of Emirates’ UK Airbus A380 recovery plans? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!