The world’s most populous country, China, will fittingly receive the aviation world’s largest commercial aircraft with the start of Emirates A380 Dubai-Beijing-Dubai services on 1st August 2010.
The new service signals the first A380 operation to China, and follows an impressive series of A380-firsts to New Zealand, Thailand and Korea by the Dubai-based airline.
The 517-seater A380 will be deployed on the existing EK 306 service that departs Dubai daily at 04:10 hrs, touching down in the Chinese capital city at 15:10 hrs. Return flight EK 307 takes off from Beijing Capital International Airport at 23:55 hrs, landing at Terminal 3, Dubai International Airport at 04:20 hrs the following day.
Tim Clark, President, Emirates airline noted: “Emirates was the first Middle Eastern airline to establish direct air links with mainland China over seven years ago. The link has proved very successful for both of us and we are strengthening it further with the launch of China’s first A380 service. This new operation bears testimony of our ongoing commitment to China; offering enhanced capacity to the world’s third-largest economy as it surges ahead with its international trade and development agenda.
“The A380 flight offers significant economic benefits to China by providing seamless connections between China and Africa, Europe and the Middle East via Emirates’ Dubai hub. Today China ranks as Africa’s second-largest trading partner with trade crossing US$100 billion. Equally, Africa is China’s second largest engineering contracting market and deals for contract projects exceed US$126.3 billion.”
Mr. Clark continued: “Trade between Dubai and China is on a steady rise, recording an average annual growth of 36%. Also, the UAE is expecting a surge in incoming Chinese leisure groups after the Chinese government granted it ‘Approved Destination Status’ last year. Although our A380 will support the growing demand for air travel to/from China through capacity enhancements of almost 50%, it will not be sufficient. We believe China’s blazing economic growth justifies a further expansion in aviation links in the near future.”
Mr. Dong Zhiyi, Director & General Manager of Beijing Capital International Airport said: “We are very excited to welcome Emirates’ revolutionary A380 – the first scheduled A380 commercial jet to touch down on Chinese soil. This is an important milestone for the future of Beijing Capital and aviation in China. We have made major investments to prepare this airport for new and larger aircraft that will be the future of the airline business.”
The A380 is the world’s most environmentally-advanced aircraft with significant reductions in noise, emissions and fuel burn vis-à-vis other comparable aircraft.
Emirates A380’s ground-breaking inflight product includes onboard shower spas in the First Class cabin featuring signature products by the airline’s premium spa brand, Timeless Spa. The onboard lounge for First and Business class customers mirrors the ambience of an executive club and includes a bar with a wide range of beverages and canapés.
With flat-bed massage-equipped private suites in First Class, a new generation of all-aisle flat-bed seats in Business class, mood-lighting, a second-to-none in-flight entertainment system featuring over 1200 channels of on-demand entertainment, and a more spacious Economy Class, the Emirates’ A380 introduces a whole new dimension to luxury air travel.
Currently Emirates operates double-daily services each to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, and daily services to Guangzhou.