Emirates Airbus A380-861 PHOTO: Emirates.

MIAMI — Dubai-based Emirates plans to upgrade its Glasgow service to A380 in 2019. Earlier today, the airline and airport both announced this historic moment in Scottish Aviation history.

The A380 has only visited Scotland twice: in 2014, Emirates sent the plane to Glasgow as a one-off service to mark 10 years of operations in and out of the airport; and earlier in 2009, one of the Airbus A380 prototypes performed a flypast at both Edinburgh and Prestwick Airports.

The Dubai route is Glasgow’s biggest international service. Since its launch in 2004, the route has carried over four million passengers, connecting them to Emirates’ gigantic network of 155 destinations worldwide.

PHOTO: Airbus.

Currently, Emirates operates two daily 777-300ER flights to Glasgow. However, due to the closure of one of Dubai’s runways next year, the airline has had to modify some of its existing routes.

Temporarily, Emirates will axe one of its daily flights to Glasgow and compensate it with a daily A380 service.

Mark Johnston, Managing Director of Glasgow Airport, said that “the decision by Emirates to introduce the A380 is not only a huge milestone for Glasgow Airport, it marks what is a first in Scottish aviation industry.”

He added that Glasgow Airport has “forged a valued relationship with Emirates since its inaugural flight in April 2004 and the introduction of Scotland’s first-ever scheduled A380 service represents a major vote of confidence in the city.”

“We are currently investing in excess of £8M in our infrastructure to ensure Glasgow Airport is ready to welcome this iconic aircraft when it touches down next April.”

Emirates A380

The first A380 flight will arrive into Glasgow on the 16th of April 2019, on flight EK025. It will depart Dubai at 14:50, arriving into Glasgow at 19:45. It will then depart Glasgow on Flight EK026 at 21:30, arriving into Dubai the following morning at 07:50. This will last until the 31st of May 2019.

Then from the 1st of June 2019, until the 30th September 2019, the airline will reinstate its second daily flight with the A380 operating the afternoon flight instead, while the 777 will operate in the evening.

The mix operations of both aircraft will help cater for the increased demand on the route during the summer season.

The afternoon flight EK027 will depart Dubai at 7:00, arriving into Glasgow at 12:45. It will then return to Dubai on Flight EK028, departing Glasgow at 14:30.

Welcome News By Scottish Authorities

Richard Jewsbury, Divisional Vice President UK, Emirates noted that “Scotland is a key part of our success in the UK and we are pleased to be bringing the A380 to Glasgow.”

“The Emirates A380 is one of the most iconic aircraft in the world and it continues to delight passengers. From the exclusive shower spas in First Class, to the onboard lounge for First and Business Class customers to the spacious seats in Economy Class, the in-flight experience on our A380 is like no other.”

Likewise, Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, commented that “Emirates’ decision to create Scottish aviation history in Glasgow not only reinforces the airline’s confidence in Glasgow Airport, it further reaffirms its commitment to the entire Glasgow city region.”

She added, “Having two flights out of Dubai – one of the world’s largest hub airports – arriving in the city everyday greatly increases Glasgow’s global connectivity, particularly through Emirates’ worldwide route network, and today’s announcement is another positive step in terms of forging greater business links and increasing visitor access from key emerging markets such as China and India.”

Michael Matheson Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity also commented on the aircraft upgrade decision by the Emirati carrier. “I welcome Emirates’ decision to introduce the very first A380 service in Scotland. This increase in capacity is a huge vote of confidence in Glasgow Airport and in Scotland as a whole.

This is terrific news for Scotland as a whole, as it represents a massive boost to the tourism industry and added confidence by one of the world’s most important carriers.

The Airport recently moved Emirates flights to the other side of the International Pier, while the airport improves the infrastructure with a £8 Million expansion to cater for the Super Jumbo. It was only a matter of when for this announcement, as it has been speculated for years Emirates would eventually use the A380 to Glasgow.