Emirates to debut retrofitted A380 superjumbos in December

Dubai airline's double-decker jets with premium economy cabins will fly to five cities including San Francisco, Auckland and Singapore

Emirates will operate newly retrofitted A380s on flights to New York from December. Photo: Emirates
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Emirates is bringing more of its retrofitted A380 superjumbos back into service this year.

The Dubai airline says it is ramping up flights via the double decker jets to satisfy travel demand that is “the strongest it’s been in more than two years”.

Newly enhanced superjumbos featuring the airline's premium economy cabins will first operate to five cities.

In December, travellers flying to New York will be able to fly on the upgraded A380s. Next year, the jets will also take passengers to Auckland, Melbourne, San Francisco and Singapore.

Passengers flying to London Heathrow, Paris and Sydney were among the first to be able to fly in Emirates's premium economy cabins, which debuted in 2021. Emirates says customer response has been “overwhelmingly positive with demand exceeding expectations”.

Later this year, the airline will bolster operations to Sydney, with the Australian city becoming the first destination in Emirates's network to have premium economy cabins on all flights from December 15.

And on January 1, travellers headed to the UK capital will have more opportunities to book the new class of cabin, as Emirates plans to add the cabin on a third service to London Heathrow.

New York's JFK will also receive another jet featuring the new class of cabin from March 15, while Christchurch in New Zealand will be added into the fold next year.

From March 26, travellers flying to the South Island city as an extension of the Dubai-Sydney service will also be able to book premium economy seats on the world’s biggest passenger jet.

A third of the network via A380 superjumbo

By the end of this year, the airline will be operating almost a third of its total network via 85 A380's. In August, Emirates announced plans of its $2 billion A380 retrofit programme.

More destinations such as Houston, Bengaluru, Perth, Auckland, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur will be added to the roster as more jets are upgraded, with additional cities to be announced in the coming weeks. With this expanded list of destinations, Emirates will have recovered 75 per cent of its pre-pandemic A380 network.

By March 2023, Emirates will be operating its superjumbos to 42 destinations around the world, offering 400 departures with 460,000 weekly A380 seats.

Updated: June 08, 2023, 6:20 AM