Emirates Airline confirmed yesterday that it will start flying one of its first Airbus A380s nonstop between Dubai and New York JFK Airport on October 1. It claims to not yet know, however, whether or not that flight will actually represent the launch of the airline’s A380 service, as Emirates president Tim Clark continues to mull the possibilities for a still earlier entry elsewhere in a quickly expanding network. “While we are still debating our first commercial A380 route, it has always been our intention to fly the aircraft on capacity-constrained trunk routes,” said Clark in a statement. “Our A380s will take to the skies in late summer, signaling an end to our long wait and ushering in a new era for Emirates.”
Emirates plans to deploy a 489-seat version of the airplane on the route to New York. It also confirmed that it will begin flying a 489-seat A380 to London Heathrow on December 1 and to Auckland and Sydney starting February 1 next year.
Other planned Emirates configurations include a three-class, 517-seat version and a dual-class version carrying 604 seats. Holding firm orders for 56 A380s in all, Emirates expects to receive its first five airplanes this year, some 18 months late.