From Simple Flying. by Pranjal Pande June 1, 2021
Emirates’ A380 has officially made a return to New York JFK after over a year of absence. The airline brought forward the return of the superjumbo from July as demand on the route begins recovering. Let’s find out more about the return of the A380.
After over a year of just being served by the Boeing 777, Emirates has officially brought back the Airbus A380 at the beginning of summer. Flight EK201 departed Dubai International Airport (DXB) bound for New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) at 08:43 AM local time. However, unlike the usual 777-300ER service, this time the superjumbo is back in action.
The journey to New York is scheduled to take 13 hours and 55 minutes, although it routinely reaches 30 minutes to an hour before its scheduled time. At the time of writing, the A380 is just entering the Canadian coast of Newfoundland is on its way to the eastern seaboard of the United States. The flight is expected to land at 14:15 local time.
The A380 service will operate daily, which means Emirates expects there to be substantial traffic going forward. While there is not one more direct service, the carrier is also operating its Dubai-Milan-JFK fifth freedom route again. This service is operated by a 777 and takes four hours extra due to the stop, so keep an eye out while booking.
The return flight will operate as EK202, departing New York at 23:00 local time. Since flying eastwards is faster, the return leg will only take 12 hours and 55 minutes (usually shorter than this).
The Airbus A380-800 operating today’s EK201/202 service is registered A6-EVL. It happens to be one of Emirates’ newest superjumbos, having only been delivered in early December. The aircraft is just under six months and was Emirates’ first A380 delivery since the pandemic broke out last year.
Despite being among the newest A380s with Emirates (fourth-newest to be precise), this aircraft does not come equipped with the premium economy cabin. Instead, it features the standard three-class layout that’s most travelers are familiar with.
While Emirates owns 118 A380s, only 15-20 are currently in service every week due to the pandemic. A6-EVL is one of the 15-20 A380s that are in active service. The plane has been flying two to three roundtrips every week, most recently to London, Amman, Cairo, and Frankfurt. This means the plane has seen substantial flight time since its delivery, although still far lower than pre-pandemic levels.
The return of the superjumbo is good news for Emirates and the aviation industry at large. With the US and UAE having one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, travel has been picking up steadily. Moreover, since Dubai is a major travel hub, passengers from around the world are likely connecting onwards to the US.
However, New York is only one of 18 cities that will receive the Emirates A380 this summer. Expect to see this iconic aircraft to return to several more routes in the coming months.