EMIRATES THINKS BIG TO CLAIM A380 WORLD FIRST FOR MANCHESTER

30th March, 2010 - Emirates Airline is to make Manchester Airport the first regional base in the world to host A380 services.

The world’s biggest airliner will grace Manchester Airport on a daily basis from September 1st as award-winning Emirates truly takes Manchester into the big league.

While the Emirates’ 517-seat double-decker aircraft has become an eye-catching fixture at many of the world’s biggest international airports such as London Heathrow, Paris, Dubai and Sydney, its arrival at Manchester will be the first time the “green giant” has operated into a regional airport.

The superjumbo will replace the existing Boeing 777 on the EK018, departing Manchester daily at 13.30 to Dubai and onward destinations. It will be bringing international passengers into Manchester each day on the EK017, arriving at 11.45.

The Manchester services – which will also be the world’s most northerly deployment of an A380 - will boost capacity by an extra 75 seats a day and introduce the Dubai-based international carrier’s award-winning First Class cabin, which includes another world first – onboard Shower Spas.

Emirates Airline President Tim Clark said: “Manchester has been one of the strongest performers in our growing network of regional gateways, not only in the UK but globally as well.

“Our customers value our commitment to a regional network at a time when other airlines are abandoning them. We are delighted to give our Manchester customers the very best available in the shape of the Emirates Airbus A380 which is transforming the flying experience for our passengers.

“This is a ground-breaking announcement for the airport and its global standing. It is a well-deserved boost for our loyal and growing customer base in the North West.”

Manchester Airport's Managing Director, Andrew Cornish, said: "Emirates' decision to operate daily A380 services between Manchester and Dubai represents an historic moment for this airport and the region that we serve.

“We have invested close to £10 million in upgrading the airfield and terminal both to accommodate the aircraft itself and to create a fitting environment for Emirates' customers, whether it is at check-in, using the airline’s executive lounge or at the gate area.

“The A380 is as iconic as Concorde and her introduction into Manchester by one of our most important carriers, Emirates, will provide a daily reminder that regional airports can support successful long-haul services. We look forward to welcoming the Emirates A380 in September."

The A380 is the world’s only twin-deck airliner and is the most environmentally-advanced airliner in the sky today. It offers better fuel economy than most hybrid passenger cars, and burns up to 20 per cent less fuel per seat than today's next largest aircraft. It is quieter too, generating less than half the noise of other aircraft on takeoff.

The Emirates A380 features an Onboard Lounge for First Class and Business Class passengers, with a wide range of drinks and canapés, as well as the space to socialise or simply relax. A further Social Area, incorporating a water feature, is located at the front of First Class.

The whole of the upper deck is dedicated to premium passengers. Towards the front, First Class passengers can relax in one of 14 flat-bed, massage-equipped Private Suites. These incorporate remote-controlled doors, a work desk, an electrically controlled mini-bar and the most advanced in-flight entertainment system ice, available to all onboard.

In Business Class, all seats have aisle access and can become fully-flat beds at the push of a button.

Before boarding at Manchester, premium passengers will also be able to enjoy the newly-opened Emirates Lounge.

The straight walls in Economy Class give the impression of increased spaciousness, along with a 32” seat pitch which is one of the most generous on the market.

Emirates’ award-winning ‘ice’ (information, communication, entertainment) in-flight entertainment system offers more than 1200 channels of on-demand entertainment, the most extensive programming currently available in the skies.

Each cabin is equipped with an advanced mood lighting system, complete with a starlit sky, which adjusts throughout the flight to reflect the time at the destination and to help combat the effects of jet lag.

Emirates has been flying from Manchester to Dubai and its network of onward destinations since 1990, flying over four million passengers and more than 100 million kilos of cargo to and from the North West. A second daily service was added in 2003 and the Emirates Lounge at Manchester – the most luxurious at the airport – was opened on October 2009.

Emirates, the biggest customer of the A380 having ordered a total of 58, currently flies it to London Heathrow, Paris, Sydney, Auckland, Toronto, Seoul, Bangkok and Jeddah.

Return fares to Dubai on the A380 will start from £539 (Economy), £2309 (Business) and £3087 for First Class. For other fares on the network, please go to www.emirates.com/uk

Published on: 30/03/2010 11:00:00