Emirates brings A380 to WA

Geoffrey Thomas Aviation Editor
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Emirates brings A380 to WA

The super jumbo era will touch down in Perth on May 1 when Emirates introduces its 489-seat A380 to Perth daily.

Crammed with features such as a bar for premium classes, showers for first class, one of the most spacious economy cabins in the sky and wi-fi throughout, the A380 is a passenger magnet, says the airline.

The Emirates A380 service will be one of the airline's three daily flights connecting Perth with Dubai.

Emirates' commitment underscores its faith in the growth of Perth as a global destination.

The move from a 354-seat Boeing 777-300ER would add 1876 seats a week, Rob Gurney, Emirates' divisional vice-president Australia and New Zealand, said.

"It's extremely important for Perth as this is our flagship product and it has long been a strategically important aircraft for us," Mr Gurney said.

"We are also building a new lounge at Perth Airport which will be more than 50 per cent bigger than the existing facility."

Mr Gurney said Emirates recently added A380 destinations to its network that were important to Perth travellers, such as Houston, Texas.

Perth Airport chief executive Brad Geatches praised Emirates and said the move was exciting.

"It is typical of Emirates to be continuing to lead the way with their first A380 servicing Perth," Mr Geatches said.

Barry Brown, Emirates' divisional senior vice-president commercial operations east, said Australia ranked in the top three nations on Emirates' global network.

"We're dedicated to providing ongoing support for tourism and trade, which is evident in providing larger capacity aircraft," Mr Brown said.

The A380 will operate into Dubai International Airport's Concourse A, the world's first purpose-built A380 terminal, which connects with the airline's 33 A380 destinations.

Emirates has 56 A380s in the fleet and 85 on order.

And the airline is aggressively introducing the jet.

Twelve planes joined the fleet this year and Emirates added nine destinations in the past 12 months, including Mumbai, Frankfurt, Dallas, Kuwait, San Francisco, Milan and Houston.

The Emirates A380 that will serve Perth has a three-class configuration, with 398 seats in economy on the lower deck, 76 fully flat-bed, mini-pods in business class and 14 first-class private suites on the upper deck.

Emirates' Perth A380 service will operate daily as EK420 departing Dubai at 2.55am and arriving in Perth at 5.35pm the same day.

The return flight, EK421, will leave Perth at 10.05pm and arrive in Dubai the next day at 5.15am local time, a flying time of 11 hours.