By Albert Kuan
Emirates to Deploy A380s in Response to Increased Travel Demand from UK
Emirates will be operating its Airbus A380 aircraft four times a day to London’s Heathrow Airport from Nov. 27 in addition to six times per week to Manchester beginning Dec. 2. The Dubai-based carrier will also deploy additional A380 services to Moscow, increasing the frequency from the current twice weekly, to a daily service from Nov. 25. This is in response to increased demand from Russian travelers wanting to vacation in Dubai and at other popular island destinations within easy reach from Dubai, such as the Maldives.
The airline is making these service enhancements following the recent establishment of a travel bubble between the U.K. and the United Arab Emirates. In response to the United Arab Emirates’ rigorous and effective pandemic response, the air travel corridor allows travelers entering the U.K. from the United Arab Emirates to not have to quarantine upon arrival.
Going to Dubai, however, travelers will still have to do a COVID-19 PCR test 96 hours in advance of their flight, or upon arrival at Dubai International Airport.
The U.K.-UAE travel bubble has led to increased demand for flights between the two countries. Many countries with effective responses to COVID-19 are creating travel cooperations to allow travelers to move quarantine-free in each direction.
Hong Kong and Singapore, for example, have plans to launch a travel bubble in December, next month (delayed from its original November 22 launch), with two flights per day in each direction operated exclusively by Cathay Pacific Airways and Singapore Airlines.
However, Singapore and Hong Kong will both limit the number of travelers allowed into each country. There is no limit in the number of people allowed to fly between the U.K. and UAE. For this reason, Emirates is choosing to deploy its higher capacity double-decker jets between the two countries to serve more travelers.
Emirates will also increase service to Birmingham and Glasgow in the U.K., flying to both cities daily from Nov. 27 and Dec. 1, respectively. Service was originally operating four times a week.
Emirates will also increase service to Manchester, increasing flights from eight to ten per week from Dec. 1. Six of those 10 Manchester services will be operated by an A380, while the other four services will continue to be operated with a Boeing 777-300ER. Emirates will serve Heathrow with only A380s.