MIAMI — Emirates is upgrading its daily service to Dallas/Fort Worth to the Airbus A380 on October 1, 2014. It is the airport’s first A380 operator. Dallas News was first to report the news.
Currently, Emirates operates the 16-hour flight with a Boeing 777-200LR, configured with 226 seats. The addition of the A380 to the route will add up to 56% more seats. Emirates’ A380s carry between 489 to 517 passengers, depending on the configuration.
“Emirates is committed to the people and places we serve, and we are bringing our flagship A380 to Dallas/Fort Worth by popular demand,” said Emirates senior vice president Hubert Frach.
“With the A380, we are not only bringing our flagship product to serve our leisure and business customers, but also demonstrating our commitment and confidence in the economic and tourism potential of the region,” Frach said.
The DFW airport board was asked to approve a $2.8 million contract to modify jet bridges at Terminal D to accommodate the double-decker aircraft in February. A DFW spokesperson would not elaborate who was planning to operate the Airbus A380 to DFW, but they did say that the modified jet bridges needed to be completed by October 1.
“The arrival of the A380 is a testament to the strength of the travel market here at Dallas/Fort Worth and the growing stature of D/FW International Airport as a pre-eminent global hub,” the airport’s CEO, Sean Donohue. said in a release.
The U.S. Custom and Border Protection will add another 40 people to DFW operations for additional help over the next 12-18 months.
It had since become a guessing game. Many expected British Airways to operate the first A380 to DFW as it is the largest hub of its oneworld partner, American Airlines. Others guessed Qantas, Korean, Lufthansa, and Qatar, though all seemed unlikely.
Sky Talk reports that after launching nonstop service between Dubai and DFW in 2012, the carrier says it has seen load factors over 90 percent on its flights, according to comments made by airport staff at board meetings.
Emirates launched A380 service out of Gatwick today as well. The airport was Emirate’s first destination in the UK 26 years ago.
This summer, Qatar will begin flying to DFW, and in December, Etihad will launch flights to DFW.