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Emirates to launch A380 to Jo’burg

posted May 10, 2011, 11:55 PM by Rowan Hewitt

11 Wed, May 2011

EMIRATES will launch its A380 aircraft on the Johannesburg route in October, the airline’s first scheduled A380 service to Africa.

The announcement comes as the airline unveiled its full-year financial results for 2010-11. These revealed a surge in the number of South African travellers flying with Emirates – with total passenger growth up 12% over the previous financial year. Overall revenue from the South African market also rose sharply, up 34% from 2009-10. Meanwhile, inbound traffic rose 20% in the calendar year 2010.

“South Africa has joined the club of high-density destinations in the Emirates network. There is a very strong and regular demand for our product,” says regional manager of Southern Africa, Fouad Caunhye.
“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,” says Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline. “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.

“Our A380 demonstrates the future of aviation – both in terms of passenger experience and environmental sensitivity,” he added.

The 489-seat A380 will offer 14 private first class suites, 76 lie-flat beds in business class (almost double the seats currently available on the B777) and 399 seats in economy class. First class passengers have access to two on-board shower spas, while all premium passengers on the upper deck can make use of the on-board lounge.

The aircraft will replace the B777 300 on the daily flight EK 761, departing Dubai at 04h40 and arriving at OR Tambo International Airport at 10h50. The return flight, EK762, departs Johannesburg at 14h10 and arrives in Dubai at 00h10 the following day. The airline will still fly three times daily from Johannesburg.

The airline currently boasts a fleet of 15 A380s (with another 95 on order), operating services from Dubai to London Heathrow (double-daily), Manchester, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Toronto, Seoul, Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai, Jeddah, New York, Hong Kong, Sydney and Auckland.