Emirates launched the world’s shortest scheduled A380 service from Dubai to Doha on December 1. Covering 379km from Dubai to Doha in a total travel time of 1 hour and 20 minutes, the Airbus A380 aircraft landed at Hamad International Airport (HIA) on Thursday morning. It was even shorter on the return – just 70 minutes. The time in the air is around 40 minutes. Onboard were senior officials of Emirates, prominent members of the UAE business community and media persons.
The double-decker A380 is the world’s largest commercial aircraft in service. It comes complete with Emirates’ prized amenities like shower spas and first class private suites. Inside, the aircraft has a three-class configuration, with 76 flat-bed seats in its business class cabin, 14 first class private suites on its upper deck, and 429 economy class seats. The round trip would cost about $230 in economy, $575 in business and $1,425 in first. It is nearly $36 for every minute in the air.
Emirates has steadily grown its presence in Doha and now operates nine daily flights, making it the most served destination in the airline’s network. Demand between Dubai and Doha is strong, and in the last five years Emirates has carried over 3.7 million passengers between the two cities.
The airline says it launched the service so that customers flying to the capital of Qatar from New York or European cities via Dubai "can now enjoy a seamless A380 experience." But they'll still have to change planes at the world's busiest international airport.
The double-decker A380 has been tremendously popular with travellers across the globe with its spacious cabins and quiet journeys. Emirates is the largest operator of this aircraft and currently has 87 A380s in service and 55 pending delivery. The airline currently operates the A380 to over 45 global destinations.