While the Airbus A380 is well known for ferrying hundreds of passengers on some of the worlds longest long-haul routes, do you know which are the world’s shortest A380 flights?
Always a fan favorite with aviation geeks, the massive European Airbus has been a bit of a disappointment commercially. When carrying a full passenger load the numbers work out for the airline, but when flying with empty seats it is hard to make a profit.
Boeing 777s and Airbus A350s make more sense
As the airlines move away from the hub and spoke operations to point-to-point routes, smaller twin-engine aircraft like Boeing’s new family of 777s and the Airbuses A350 seems to make more sense.
So with the aircraft being replaced on long-haul routes could it be profitable to use it on high-capacity short-haul flights?
Dubai to Muscat is the worlds shotest A380 flight
Interestingly, Dubai based Emirates Airlines think it might work, inaugurating the worlds shortest A380 flight just three weeks ago.
Despite being just 340 kilometers (211 miles) between them, Emirates Airlines are flying the A380 twice daily between Dubai and Muscat International Airport in Oman.
When promoting the worlds shortest A380 flight, divisional senior vice president of Emirates’ Commercial Operations Center Sheikh Aimen bin Ahmed Al Hosni said in an Emirates Airlines statement carried by Gulf News:
“The introduction of the A380 services to Muscat means more of our customers will have the opportunity to experience our industry-leading products on-board, and will also enhance choice and travel preferences, as they plan their journeys.”
Total time in the air for the worlds shortest A380 flight is 40 minutes at an altitude of around 19,000 feet, half the altitude the A380 usually cruises at.
Dubai (DXB) – Jeddah (JED)
The second shortest flight aboard an A380 is from Dubai (DXB) to Jeddah (JED).
Emirates Airlines fly the A380 on flights between Dubai International Airport (DBX) and King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) in Jeddah Saudi Arabia. The distance between Dubai and Jeddah is 1,927 kilometers (1,042 miles). Flying time is approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes.
Guangzhou (CAN) – Beijing (PEK)
The worlds third shortest flight aboard an A380 is from Guangzhou (CAN) to Beijing (PEK).
China Southern Airlines use the A380 on flights between Guangzhou (CAN) and Beijing (PEK). The Distance between Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport is 1,880 kilometers (1,168 miles). Flying time is approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes.
Christchurch (CHC) – Sydney (SYD)
Coming in a close fourth is Emirates Airlines Flight number EK413 between Christchurch International Airport (CHC) and Sydney Airport (SYD). The distance between New Zealand and Australian cities from Christchurch to Sydney is approximately 2120 kilometers (1317 miles). Flying time is approximately 3 hours and 20 minutes
Emirates used to fly the A380 to Kuwait and Doha
Previously, Emirates operated the A380 on short flights to Kuwait City but replaced the aircraft in favor of the Boeing 777. The Gulf carrier also used to fly the plane between Dubai and Doha but suspended all flights following a diplomatic spat between Qatar and some of its Gulf neighbors.
The A380 has had its day in the sun, and while it will always be a favorite of passengers, like the 747 it has run its course. Today the trend is for twin-engine widebody jets and fuel-efficient narrowbody aircraft like the Airbus A321XLR.
Once the biggest fan of the A380 in the world, Emirates will now discontinue their love affair with the giant jet in 2021 and concentrate instead on the A330 and A350 family of aircraft.