Emirates Airlines is to use its flagship Airbus A380 aircraft on a daily service between Dubai and Johannesburg from 1 October onwards, to cater for the increasing number of South African travellers flying with the airline.
Its financial results for 2010/11 show total passenger growth for South Africa having risen by 12% over the previous financial year, while overall revenue from the South African market also rose sharply – up by 34%.
“We have enjoyed a successful partnership with South Africa since launching services in 1995, and now connect our Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban gateways to our vast global network through 42 non-stop flights each week to Dubai,” said Emirates Airline President Tim Clark in a statement this week.
“The very positive trends we have witnessed over the last 12 months will only be boosted by the arrival of our flagship A380 aircraft, which has set a new benchmark for air travel.”
Emirates becomes the second airline to use the A380 “superjumbo” on flights to South Africa, following on Air France’s use of the plane between Paris and Johannesburg.
‘The future of aviation’
The 489-seat Emirates A380 offers 14 private first class suites, 76 lie-flat beds in business class and 399 seats in economy class. First class passengers have access to two onboard shower spas, while all premium passengers on the upper deck can socialise in the onboard lounge.
“Our A380 demonstrates the future of aviation – both in terms of passenger experience and environmental sensitivity,” Clark said.
“By launching the aircraft to Johannesburg, we are further underlining our commitment to serving South Africa and we anticipate very strong demand from leisure and business travellers keen to experience its unique features and unparalleled levels of comfort in the air.”
The A380 service will operate daily as EK 761, departing Dubai at 2.40pm (local time) and arriving at OR Tambo International Airport at 10.50am (local). The return flight, EK762, departs Johannesburg at 2.10pm (local) and arrives in Dubai at 12.10am (local) the following day.
Emirates Airlines currently operates three daily flights to Johannesburg, a double-daily service to Cape Town and a daily service to Durban.