The Emirates Airline marked the launch of what is called the world’s shortest revenue flight with an Airbus A380, with the first of its kind, twice a day service to Muscat. These flights – EK 962 and EK 864 – cover a distance of only 185 nautical miles one way, which is shorter than the measure of the internal wiring of a single A380.
Both the flights have three classes, and carry a total of 429 seats in the economy, the lower deck, and 76 flat-bed seats in the Business class. They also carry 14 first-class private suites located at the upper deck. The flying time of the journey is 40 minutes, which is five minutes longer than it takes 42 people to clean an A380.
Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the A380, of which 111 are under their control. They are not, however, satisfied with the economies of the plane on routes it follows. Airbus was forced to cancel its program in February as Emirates reduced their order to 96 planes only.
The Chairman and CEO of Emirates, Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum joined hands with the former CEO of Airbus, Tom Enders, and spoke of his disappointment at the end of the program and blamed failed negotiations between Rolls Royce and Airbus for the price concessions and improvements to enhance performance.
A majority of the 111 A360’s are powered by the Engine Alliance GP7200 turbofans, and the airline held outstanding delivery positions on firm orders of 52 airplanes which would contain Rolls Royce Trent 900 turbofans. The recent contract for the planes was signed in February 2018, and included orders for 20 Rolls Royce powered airplanes, and options for 16 others.
Emirates has, as part of the agreement to cancel the A380’s has signed a deal for 40 A330-900’s and 30 A350-900’s which are to be delivered in 2021 and 2024. The A330’s are to be operational on regional routes, where they can serve smaller airports to open new destinations across the globe. The A350’s will support the long term operations of Emirates giving them flexibility of capacity to deploy on 8 to 12 hour journeys from Dubai.