Thu, Mar 19, 2009
Cites Weak Demand Out Of New York... But Strong Demand From
The largest customer for the Airbus A380 has pulled service on
its first route serviced by the massive airliner. Dubai-based
Emirates announced Wednesday it will replace two A380s operating on
the Dubai-New York route with twin-engine Boeing 777-300ERs, due to
dwindling passenger numbers that made it hard to justify flying the
"Effective June 1st, two of Emirates' Airbus A380 aircraft,
currently operating on one of the two daily Dubai-New York JFK
services, will be redeployed to the three-times weekly
Dubai-Toronto service and to one of the two daily Dubai-Bangkok
services," the airline told Emirates Business. "As the global
economy has affected international air travel, this aircraft
redeployment was based solely on a change in capacity demands in
these three markets."
The Dubai-Toronto service has seen impressive growth since it
was launched in October 2007, Emirates President Tim Clark told
Agence-France Presse. The airline plans to reevaluate JFK for A380
service "when economic conditions improve," Clark added.
The change results in 132 fewer seats available per daily flight
operated by a 777 instead of an A380, the airline said. Emirates'
superjumbos have 489 seats divided throughout three classes,
including 14 first-class suites.
"[T]this change in aircraft will not affect any other US
services as the airline still plans to increase the Los Angeles and
San Francisco services to a daily frequency beginning from May 1,
2009," the airline added.
Emirates also reaffirmed its commitment to the A380, after a
German magazine reported
airline officials recently presented a laundry-list of
problems to the planemaker, outlining a number of
defects which have caused breakdowns that grounded Emirates' four
A380s a total of 500 hours to date. While Emirates didn't deny the
facts of the report, the airline did stress it plans to keep its
remaining 54 orders for A380s on the books.
"We take the criticism and the feedback from Emirates very
seriously," an Airbus spokeswoman told Reuters. "We are doing
everything we can to overcome the issues and we are working very
closely with our customers to solve that."
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