Emirates has steadily grown its London A380 operations since first deploying the aircraft on a scheduled service to Heathrow in December 2008, the year the airline started to receive deliveries of the world's largest passenger jet aircraft.
"Due to high customer demand for the A380 product, soon, travellers to and from London Heathrow will be able to enjoy our flagship aircraft on every flight," said Salem Obaidalla, Emirates' Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Europe & Russian Federation. "Our customers will also have a greater chance of an all-A380 experience when travelling across our network between London, Dubai and places such as Bangkok, Beijing, Tokyo, Sydney, and from 1st October, Melbourne."
Expanding East and West
The news follows a flood of recent announcements that the carrier has made detailing its rapid expansion plans.
Yesterday, the carrier said it plans to launch three additional destinations in the next six months, on top of the 12 new routes already being rolled out in 2012.
From 1st November, Emirates will launch four weekly flights to Adelaide, rising to a daily service from 1st February 2013. Adelaide will be the airline's fifth destination in Australia which is currently served with 70 flights per week.
The airline's current double-daily service to Perth will grow to 19 weekly flights from 1st December, becoming a triple daily operation from 1st March next year.
On the western side of the globe, the French city of Lyon will be added to the Emirates' network from 5th December, the carrier's third point in France after Paris and Nice. Emirates will operate five weekly flights to the city.
Lastly, the carrier said it will Emirates will begin flights into Poland from 6th February 2013, where the airline will operate a daily service to the capital, Warsaw.
"Emirates is currently in a concentrated and sustained period of global expansion," said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group. "The addition of Adelaide to our network and the boost to our Perth operations demonstrates our commitment to investment and growth in our Australian operations and highlights the economic strength and global demand for the two cities as business, leisure and investment destinations. We will also grow capacity to Melbourne with the introduction of daily A380 services in October, in addition to our existing double decker flight into Sydney."
"Our increased operations into France, linking with Lyon, comes on the heels of our announcing a second A380 service into Paris from 1st January - all of which a response to acute demand for our services to and from this market. Poland continues our exciting push into this region of Europe," Sheikh Ahmed added.
Emirates has already launched nine new destinations so far in 2012; Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Dublin, Lusaka, Harare, Dallas, Seattle, Ho Chi Minh City and yesterday Barcelona. Lisbon will launch on 9th July, Erbil follows on 12th August and Washington comes on board as of 12th September.
Aviation analyst Saj Ahmad said it is no surprise that Emirates is upping its presence in new and existing markets. "Announcements like these tend to follow when carriers place big orders and Emirates is no exception," he said. "And while it has to deploy its 777-300ER and A380 inventory somewhere, it wouldn't be launching such routes and increased frequencies if demand didn't support their planned growth."
"My only surprise, if indeed that's the right word, is why there haven't been even more news announcements. But after all, there's only so many pilots that Emirates can snare/train and employ and I would hazard a guess that it is this issue, not regulatory. that is constraining their furious growth," he added.