Emirates A380 is back in the skies: superjumbo takes off from Dubai after four-month hiatus
It's the first A380 commercial passenger service that Emirates has operated since March 25
The Emirates A380 is back in the sky today for the first time since the Dubai airline grounded its fleet of superjumbos in March.
Flight EK001 departed Dubai International Airport just before 8am this morning headed for London Heathrow.
The world's largest passenger plane is set to land in the UK just after midday, local time.
It's the first A380 commercial passenger service that Emirates has operated since March 25, when flight EK262 landed in Dubai from Sao Paulo, Brazil the day after UAE authorities closed the country's airspace.
But it's not the only superjumbo in the sky today: Emirates Flight EK073, also an A380, has departed Dubai for Paris's Charles De Gaulle airport. The flight is set to land in France around 2pm local time and will receive a special welcome as it becomes the first and only scheduled A380 flight to operate at this major European airport since the pandemic began.
On the same day, Emirates announced it will introduce the A380 on its daily Amsterdam service from Saturday, August 1, and add a second superjumbo on the London Heathrow route.
The A380 is the same length as two blue whales and has the capacity to carry up to 615 passengers in a two-class configuration. It's unlikely either of the Emirates' jets flying today will be fully booked.
Numbers of passenger flights and international travellers during the coronavirus pandemic has been spectacularly low, because of demand and logistics, as well as border closures.
Emirates may continue to add more routes if travel demand increases. The airline has 115 A380 superjumbos, most of which have been on the ground since March.
Known for its luxury services, the Emirates A380 may be back in the sky, but is missing a few of its trademark premium offerings.
Travellers in Business and First class can no longer take an in-flight shower or enjoy a beverage at the upper deck lounge as both services have been halted for safety concerns during the pandemic.
The airline has also introduced several new measures designed to keep travellers safe. These include complimentary hygiene kits for passengers, reduced interaction with Emirates crew and plexi-glass screens at check-in counters.
Emirates is rebuilding its network of destinations and is currently flying to more than 50 destinations across six continents.
Emirates is resuming passenger services to seven other cities today - Athens, Barcelona, Geneva, Glasgow, Larnaca, Munich, and Rome. It's a busy week for the Dubai airline, which will also resume flight to the Maldives and Washington DC on Thursday, July 16, and to Brussels on Friday, July 17.
Updated: July 15, 2020 04:24 PM