Posted: 21 Feb 2018 Emirates celebrates first anniversary of A380 landing in Johannesburg


Emirates, the Best Airline in the World according to the 2017 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards is celebrating the first anniversary of its flagship A380 service from Dubai to Johannesburg. The state-of-the-art aircraft debuted on the route on 01 Feb 2017 and continues to offer South African travellers a veritable travel experience aboard the world’s first full double-decker aircraft.

Since its launch, EK763/764 have flown approximately 4.7 million kilometers between the two cities, spending some 250 days in the air. In its first year of operation on the route, Emirates has enjoyed a healthy overall load factor.

The A380 offers a total of 516 seats in a three class cabin configuration, with 14 private suites in First Class, 76 mini pods with lie-flat seats in Business Class and 426 spacious seats in Economy Class. EK763 departs Dubai at 10:05am and arrives in Johannesburg at 4:30pm. The return flight, EK764, departs Johannesburg at 6:50pm arriving in Dubai at 5:05am.

Emirates SkyCargo also played an important role in enhancing the versatility of the A380 service helping export commodities like automobile parts, fruits & vegetables, fresh seafood and flowers to destinations like Spain, UK, UAE, Thailand and Argentina while bringing in imported cargo like pharmaceutical products, textless and spare parts from markets like Hong Kong, China , UAE, India & Germany.   

“We are pleased to mark the A380’s first full year of service to Johannesburg which is an important gateway for us. Our operations in South Africa continue to deepen tourism, trade and investment opportunities as well as provide travellers the best in class product and services,” says Fouad Caunhye, Regional Manager, Southern Africa, Emirates Airlines.

“Each time we deploy an A380 onto a route, it typically stimulates further traffic and demand as travellers are attracted by our flagship A380 experience. The service has proved to be very popular with South Africans and they can seamlessly connect to over 155 destinations on our network across more than 80 countries in six continents.”

Cuisine served on Emirates’ incorporates local flavours from every region it flies to. On flights bound for Dubai from South Africa, Emirates serves a selection of local favourites like beef fillet, seared kingklip and chicken lalabdar, as well as savoury dishes such as balsamic beetroot dip, guacamole with pineapple, spicy butternut purée, aubergine with tahini, smoked ostrich tartare, bobotie empanada and chakalaka samosas. The meals are followed by decadent desserts like passion fruit and mango crémeux and chocolate fondant, rivalling those made in some of the world’s best bakeries in taste and texture.

Like any star-rated restaurant, Emirates pays special attention to its wine lists, boasting world class champagne and wines. The wines on each route are carefully selected to complement the menu and include exclusives found only on Emirates such as the Dom Pérignon 2005 Rosé champagne and 1963 Graham’s Colheita Port together with an impressive selection of locally sourced wine.  

Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the iconic double-decker aircraft with 101 A380’s in service. The airline recently announced a US$ 16 billion (AED 58.7 billion) deal for 36 additional Airbus A380 aircraft, with 20 firm orders and 16 options. Together with the airline’s current order backlog for 41 aircraft, the new order brings Emirates’ commitment to the A380 programme to 178 aircraft, worth over US$ 60 billion.

Emirates employs over 230 South African pilots as well as over 550 cabin crew members some of who are specially trained to operate its A380 fleet. To meet the growing demand for highly skilled commercial pilots, Emirates planned South African road show will kick off during April 2018.

The iconic double-decked jet flies to 48 cities on six continents on scheduled services. Including one-off flights, special commemorative services, test flights and other operational deployments, over 70 airports to date have welcomed the Emirates A380.

“Our eight daily flights provide travellers from South Africa good connections to destinations across our global network, especially to the UK, Paris, France, Italy, Amsterdam and Germany in Europe, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles in the United States, and Singapore, Hong Kong & Thailand in the Far East, including to thé Indian sub-continent with just one stop at our modern and comfortable Dubai hub,” says Caunhye. 

“Emirates has redesigned the flying experience for travellers with category defying innovations like the indulgent onboard shower spa, the sky lounge and free wi-fi to stay connected with friends and families. The aircraft’s popularity is evident in the numbers, since introduction in 2008, the A380 has carried over 90 million passengers globally.”

On all Emirates’ flights, customers can look forward to hours of entertainment on the award-winning inflight entertainment system, ice Digital Widescreen, which offers over 3,000 channels of on demand audio and visual entertainment, from the latest movies, music, audio books and games, as well as family friendly products and services for children, including complimentary toys, kids’ meals and movies, priority boarding for families and the use of free strollers at Dubai International Airport. Passengers also have access to complimentary Wi-Fi across Emirate’ entire fleet.

In addition to the on-board comforts and products, customers will experience the world famous hospitality from Emirates’ multinational cabin crew who come from 135 nationalities and speak over 60 languages, while enjoying chef prepared regional and international cuisine, using the freshest ingredients, accompanied by a wide range of complimentary wines and beverages.

“We are committed to the people and economy of South Africa. We look forward to working with our travel partners and our customers in the country as well as support SA’s growing inbound tourist numbers and business opportunities,” says Caunhye in conclusion.  

Emirates operates four daily flights between Dubai and Johannesburg, three to Cape Town and a daily flight between Dubai and Durban.