LONDON – Emirates will operate a one-off Airbus A380 service between Dubai and Muscat on July 1 to celebrate 25 years of partnership between the airline and the airport.

The airline’s partnership with Muscat Airport started in 1993 when it inaugurated its first flight from Dubai.

Since then, 4.3 million passengers have flown on the route.

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Emirates launched the service started with a Boeing 777-200 aircraft on a four times per week basis, before upgrading it to a 777-300ER on a thrice-daily service.

The move also re-affirms Muscat that its infrastructure is now able to take aircraft such as the A380 “sufficiently and efficiently.”

The new Muscat terminal opened in March this year.

One-Hour A380 Flight

Emirates will operate the A380 as flights EK862 and EK863, departing Dubai at 08:25 and arriving into Muscat at 09:35, with the return leaving Muscat at 12:05 and reaching Dubai at 13:10 the same day.

Khalid Bel Jaflah, Divisional Vice President Commercial Operations UAE and Oman, Emirates said to be “proud to fly the first scheduled A380 service to Muscat as Emirates marks a significant milestone of 25 years of service to the Sultanate of Oman.”

According to Jaflah, “It is a very important destination for us in the region and we maintain our strong commitment to the country.”

PHOTO: Airbus.

The one-hour flight will be an excellent opportunity for aviation enthusiasts to enjoy flying the world’s largest passenger jet.

The plane will be equipped with the airline’s three classes, offering 429 seats in Economy, 76 seats in Business as well as 14 First Class Private Suites.

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Emirates is the largest operator of A380 aircraft. The airline currently has 103 A380s in service and 59 pending delivery flying to almost 50 destinations.

“We look forward to showcasing our innovative products and stylish amenities onboard this iconic aircraft to our trade partners and travel industry stakeholders in Oman,” said Jaflah.

From the airport’s perspective, David Wilson, Chief Operations Officer, Oman Airports thanked Emirates and expressed his “appreciation for the upcoming historic arrival of a scheduled A380 service to the Sultanate of Oman.”

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Wilson said that “the arrival of the aircraft will be a valuable initiative which will highlight our new international airport terminal and we look forward to celebrating our long-standing commitment with Emirates Airline.”

If the flight operates smoothly in Muscat, and loads are consistent, Emirates might consider upgrading some of the thrice-daily services to A380, which would boost capacity on the route, and perhaps take advantage of the quick turn-around for A380s with low time utilization.