Emirates ramps up A380 service to UK to meet increased demand

Nov 18, 2020

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Emirates is ramping up its operations to the U.K. On Wednesday, the Dubai-based carrier announced that it will expand its Airbus A380 deployment to the U.K. in order to meet demand.

Beginning 27 November, Emirates will fly its A380 from Dubai (DXB) to London Heathrow (LHR) four times a day. Then, as of 2 December, the carrier will begin flying the superjumbo from Dubai (DXB) to Manchester (MAN) six times a week.

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Currently, the airline is flying to Heathrow (LHR) three times per day, however, one of those frequencies is with its Boeing 777 aircraft. As of 27 November, it’ll increase in frequency and switch all operations to A380s. Swapping out a 354-seat Boeing 777 for an A380 that seats 517 passengers is a capacity increase. Plus an additional A380 frequency will give Emirates an additional 680 seats daily from Heathrow to Dubai.

At Manchester (MAN), Emirates will increase its service from eight a week to 10 weekly flights from 1 December. Of those, six flights will be operated by an A380 and four will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER.

(Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)

Elsewhere in the U.K., Emirates will increase flights to Birmingham (BHX) and Glasgow (GLA) from the current four weekly flights to daily service as of 27 November and 1 December, respectively.

It looks as though Emirates is waiting until late November if not early December to launch these additional frequencies, which is no coincidence, considering England will come out from its second national lockdown as of 2 December. Until that date, all non-essential travel is off the table.

However, when non-essential travel is able to resume, travel to the United Arab Emirates will be much more accessible for U.K. travellers. Last week, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that England was adding the UAE to its travel corridors list, meaning travellers entering England from the UAE will no longer have to quarantine for 14 days.

Related: All 61 countries, territories and regions that are on England’s travel corridor list

Emirates said in its press release that the establishment of the air corridor between the U.K. and the UAE led to an increase in demand. As such, the airline has taken to deploying its A380s and increasing frequencies to the country.

The move to add the UAE to the travel corridor list was even more important, considering it now opens Dubai and Abu Dhabi — as well as Doha, since Qatar was also added — for transiting passengers. So, passengers originating in the U.K. where Emirates flies can travel via Dubai and on to a final destination without having to quarantine for their transit in DXB — so long as their final destination is also on the travel corridors list.

Alternatively, staying in Dubai for a holiday has gotten easier. Now, U.K. travellers heading to Dubai can opt to either take a PCR test 96 hours in advance of their flight or when they arrive in Dubai.

Related: Everything you need to know about COVID-19 testing for travel

In July, Emirates became the first airline to offer global COVID-19 insurance for passengers should they be diagnosed with the virus while travelling. The offer lasts for travel through 31 December 2020.

Featured photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg/Getty Images.

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