Airbus A380 upgrade sees Emirates go large on Johannesburg route

Dubai carrier to replace Boeing 777 on first of four flights a day as it seeks to target growing demand from passengers on African routes.

An Emirates Airbus A380 touching down in Auckland. The airline will use one of its Airbus superjumbos on its daily Johannesburg routes from next year. Courtesy Emirates
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Emirates will upgrade one of its four daily flights between Dubai and Johannesburg to an Airbus A380-800 from February 1 next year, it said on Tuesday.

The airline currently uses Boeing 777 aircraft for each of the four daily flights between the two cities. It is the busiest route on its African network with more than three million passengers carried in the past five years, it said. Once launched, Johannesburg will join more than 40 Emirates destinations served by A380 superjumbos.

The A380 will offer a total of 516 seats in a three-class cabin configuration, with 14 private suites in first class, 76 mini-pods with lie-flat seats in business class and 426 seats in economy, Emirates said. It will be deployed on the first flight of the day, EK761, and will depart Dubai at 04h40 and arrive in Johannesburg at 10h55. The return flight, EK762, will depart Johannesburg at 13h25 and arrive in Dubai at 23h45.

The Emirates A380 has an on-board lounge on the upper deck for first class and business class, while those in first class also have use of the on-board shower spas. Emirates will be the only airline in the market offering premium customers these products on an A380.

Emirates first started services to South Africa 21 years ago and in addition to the four daily flights between Dubai and Johannesburg, it also offers three daily flights between Dubai and Cape Town, and a daily flight between Dubai and Durban.

The A380 service will be operated as codeshare with South African Airways as with all other Emirates’ services to South Africa.

Emirates, the world’s largest operator of A380s with 81 currently in its fleet and a further 61 on order, serves destinations with the aircraft including New York, Los Angeles, London Heathrow, Madrid, Munich, Barcelona, Paris, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore, Sydney and Auckland.

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