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Emirates President Sir Tim Clark backs the A380 for the next decade

December 11, 2020 Aviation, Headline News No Comments

According to a report in Arabian Business, Emirates’ President Sir Tim Clark says the Airbus A380 superjumbo will remain the airline’s flagship aircraft despite threat from coronavirus pandemic Speaking on Monday he said the A380 superjumbo will remain the airline’s flagship aircraft for the next decade, despite the impact of coronavirus on long haul travel, with his comments coming as Emirates received the first of three A380 aircraft due to be delivered this month.

The report goes on to say that world’s biggest long-haul carrier, Emirates has been particularly badly affected as demand all but dried up on its key routes but Clark said: “The A380 has been a success story for Emirates, and this is reflected in the strong customer interest wherever we’ve deployed the aircraft over the years.”

He added, “We look forward to introducing our Premium Economy experience, which will make its debut on an A380 in the coming months, and we will continue to invest in our world-class A380 product experience.”

“The A380 will remain our flagship for the next decade, and we will re-deploy it on more routes as travel demand returns.”

The A380 currently flies to Cairo, Amman, Paris, London, Guangzhou, Manchester and Moscow and recently services have been ramped up to four daily A380s on London Heathrow and daily flights to Moscow.

The report says that the double-decker is also demonstrating its versatility by being utilised as a ‘mini-freighter’ on select cargo charter operations to transport urgently required cargo across the Emirates network during the coronavirus pandemic.

Last month, Clark said he expects to see a sharp recovery in demand for air travel next year as coronavirus vaccines are distributed around the world, meaning the carrier’s full fleet of jumbo Airbus A380 jets could return to the skies by early 2022, telling Bloomberg, “I can see demand for travel moving at pace,” and “My own view, and it’s always an optimistic view, is by end of next calendar year or the first quarter of 2022 we’ll have all our A380s flying”.

Since its entry into the Emirates fleet 12 years ago, the A380 has been the airline’s flagship and a customer favourite, with signature elements such as A380 Onboard Lounge and Shower Spa, with Emirates having recently reinstated its iconic products for customers, balancing an elevated experience during the pandemic with measures that prioritise the health and wellbeing of passengers.

The delivery flight for the newest member of the Emirates fleet was powered by a blend of jet fuel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), with this the first time the airline is using sustainable aviation fuel to power an A380 and Clark saying, “Sustainability remains very much on our agenda at Emirates,” adding, “We are watching developments in sustainable aviation fuel very closely, and we look forward to a time when it can be produced at scale, and in a cost competitive manner“, and “Our latest A380 delivery flight was partially powered by sustainable aviation fuel and this is a positive step towards reducing our overall emissions.”

He said Emirates continues to take significant steps towards emissions reduction, in addition to operating modern and fuel efficient aircraft with an average age of 6.5 years, Emirates also has a comprehensive fuel efficiency programme that has implemented a range of initiatives including working with air navigation providers on “flex tracks”, or flexible routings that create the most efficient flight plan for each flight.

An edited report from Arabian Business by John Alwyn-Jones

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