Emirates has expanded the network of destinations served by its flagship A380 aircraft with the launch of new scheduled A380 services to Hamburg and Osaka this week.
The inaugural A380 service from Dubai to Osaka landed at 16:55 local time while the second A380 service launch from Dubai to Hamburg landed at 12:55.
Both aircraft were greeted by traditional water cannon salutes, and VIP delegations from Dubai, Hamburg and Osaka, including Emirates executives, VIP guests, media and industry partners, attended ceremonies in the arrival airports.
For Emirates, the A380 inaugural flight to Hamburg was a special celebratory event, marking the homecoming of the aircraft to the city where it was manufactured and fitted out.
To celebrate the launch, Emirates’ chefs created a special menu allowing passengers to have a taste of the region in flight and enjoy specialty German dishes.
As with all Emirates flights to Japan, passengers on board the inaugural flight enjoyed Japanese – inspired cuisine, including traditional Kaiseki menus and specially-designed bento boxes.
On arrival at Kansai International Airport, flight EK316 was received with a warm welcome and both its operating crew and airport staff greeted each other by exchanging a traditional Japanese bow.
Flights to Osaka’s Kansai International Airport were introduced as a daily service in April 2004 and Emirates has since transported nearly 2.6 million passengers between Osaka and Emirates’ Dubai hub.
With the A380 now serving the route, Osaka joins Tokyo’s Narita as another of Japan’s airport gateways operated by Emirates’ A380 aircraft.
Emirates is now operating all German gateways with its A380 fleet, including Frankfurt, Munich and Dusseldorf in addition to Hamburg, making Germany the most served European country by the Emirates A380 after the UK.
Emirates started operating daily Hamburg flights in March 2006 and introduced a second daily service from September 2011.
“We are finally bringing our flagship aircraft ‘home’ as all our A380s are being fitted at Airbus in Hamburg.
“We are the first airline to offer scheduled A380 services into Hamburg and we are proud to operate the A380 on flights to all German gateways.
“This year marks the tenth year of Emirates’ A380 operations.
“This aircraft has become the most recognisable and admired ones in the world, loved by over 105 million passengers that have experienced the Emirates A380 to date and sets the benchmark for travel comfort in commercial flying,” said Thierry Antinori, Emirates chief commercial officer.