Superjumbo Return: Where Is Emirates Flying Its A380 Fleet Now?

Emirates will use the A380 to 43 destinations across the rest of this year, with over 12,300 flights scheduled. Bahrain is now its shortest A380 route. With over four in ten flights, Western Europe is all-important, greatly helped by the UK. The top-10 route list has changed significantly, reflecting wider problems. Where’s in and where’s out?

Emirates will use its A380s to 43 destinations. Photo: Getty Images.

Emirates has 118 A380s, just six aircraft short of the number of B777-300ERs in its fleet. However, just 22 (19%) of its A380s are active, according to ch-aviation.com, against 121 (98%) of the B777-300ERs.

43 A380 destinations this year

Emirates’ A380 route map comprises 43 destinations between June and December, an examination of its schedule submitted to data provider OAG reveals, with over 12,300 flights scheduled. These are spread across 30 countries, with the UK by far the leading recipient of Emirates’ A380 flights, followed by the US, Germany, Egypt, France, and Saudi Arabia.

Think Emirates A380, think Western Europe. This one region, which is so important to Emirates, has four in ten A380 flights. Some 14 airports across Western Europe will see the aircraft, with four making the top-10 list. Indeed, Simple Flying recently showed that the UK featured heavily in Emirates’ transit country-pairs.

The next largest region is North America, with just over one in ten movements. The US has four A380 destinations, with New York JFK recently returning. Los Angeles and Washington Dulles will again see A380s from July, while it is October for San Francisco.

There are only two one-stop A380 routes. Image: OAG Mapper.

Top-10 routes

Dubai to London Heathrow is the top A380 market, as shown below, which it typically is no matter how it is measured. It is one of three UK A380 destinations this year, joining Manchester (which recently resumed) and Gatwick (from October). In the first week of the aviation winter, Emirates has scheduled seven A380 departures from Dubai to the UK.

  • London Heathrow: 1,688 round-trip flights scheduled
  • Cairo: 856
  • Paris CDG: 796
  • Manchester: 578
  • Moscow Domodedovo: 552
  • Jeddah: 552
  • New York JFK: 552
  • Johannesburg: 522
  • Amman: 428
  • Frankfurt: 428

This list has seen big changes compared to the same months in 2019 because of border closures and more. Cairo, Moscow, Johannesburg, Amman, and Frankfurt have all joined it, while Bangkok, London Gatwick, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, and Sydney have all left. Most will return in time.

All change for Emirates’ top-10 A380 route list. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

Only two one-stop routes

Only two destinations are one-stop: Christchurch (served via Sydney) and Hong Kong (via Bangkok). Both are also fifth-freedom, with tickets from Bangkok to Hong Kong available from $98 one-way. However, Emirates also uses the A380 non-stop to Hong Kong, helping to increase competitiveness and to generate stronger premium fares to Dubai and beyond.

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Another one-stop and fifth-freedom route, Dubai-Milan Malpensa-JFK, is still operating. However, it is no longer scheduled by the A380 but instead by the B777-300ER, the aircraft used to launch it back in 2013.

Emirates began using the A380 from Dubai to Bahrain on June 3rd, becoming its new shortest route by the type. It had a flight time of 54 minutes out and 52 back. Image: RadarBox.com.

New shortest A380 route

Emirates has a new shortest A380 route: Dubai to Bahrain. At just 303 miles, it is some 240 miles shorter than what was the shortest: Riyadh. However, it is only operating in June, and it isn’t as short as former A380 routes: Muscat (217 miles) and Doha (235 miles). The aircraft was one of nine widebodies used between Dubai and Doha.

Will you be flying aboard an Emirates A380 this year? Let us know in the comments.

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