Emirates Airlines is flipping conventional thinking about large aircraft on short journeys by using its massive Airbus A380 on one of its shortest routes.
Previously, the 544 passenger craft would normally be used on flights of 15,000 kilometres or more. But from December, it will be deployed on a trip of less than 400 kilometres between the capital of Qatar, Doha, and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to a statement from Emirates, the 378-kilometre journey will be the shortest scheduled service any where in the world in which the behemoth plane will be used. The company said it plans to introduce a daily service on this route.
Doha, Qatar. Image by Nashira A. Hameed / EyeEm
The journey will take less than an hour one-way, and the plane could undertake 20 round trips before having to refuel. The massive aircraft will begin flying between the cities from December 1 with 519 paying customers on board – 429 in economy, 76 sited in business class and the remaining 14 in first class. Emirates say they will continue to offer the luxurious travel options with the double-decker plane having flat-bed seats and first class suites on the upper-deck. The carrier has 85 A380s in its current fleet with another 57 on order, topping any other airline.
Burj Khalifa shot with a fish-eye lens, Dubai, UAE. Image by Andrew Madali
Although this short flight distance is a record for such a big plane, it is by no means the shortest route on the globe. People’s Viennaline’s service is only 20 kilometres and takes eight minutes to link passengers at St. Gallen–Altenrhein Airport in Switzerland with Friedrichshafen Airport in Germany. The airline uses an Embraer 170 which can carry a maximum of 76 passengers. Scotland is the home of the world’s shortest domestic hop by Loganair between Westray and Papa Westray. The distance is under one mile or 1.5 kilometres and can be completed in less than a minute if there is a favourable breeze.