Ridiculous: Emirates Launching 40-Minute A380 Flight

Emirates is by far the world’s largest operator of the Airbus A380. The airline has a total of 85 Airbus A380 aircraft in their fleet, with another 57 yet to be delivered, meaning eventually they’ll have a fleet of 142 A380 aircraft.

So while most airlines operating the A380 have just a handful of them, Emirates has so many that they fly them just about everywhere. Emirates already has the title for operating the world’s longest and shortest A380 routes. The world’s longest A380 flight is from Dubai to Auckland spanning a distance of 8,824 miles. Meanwhile the world’s shortest A380 flight is from Dubai to Kuwait City, spanning a distance of 530 miles.

Well, it seems that Emirates’ sub-90 minute Dubai to Kuwait City flight wasn’t short enough for them, and they’ve now announced the world’s new shortest A380 flight.

Emirates-A380-First-Class-01

As of December 1, 2016, Emirates will launch daily A380 flights between Dubai and Doha. While Emirates has nearly a dozen daily flights between the two markets, the following flight will soon be operated by the A380:

EK841 Dubai to Doha departing 7:45AM arriving 8:05AM
EK842 Doha to Dubai departing 9:50AM arriving 12:00PM

The flight from Dubai to Doha covers a distance of 235 miles, and typically has a flight time of about 40 minutes. For context, this flight is over a hundred miles shorter than a flight between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The A380 operating this route will be configured in a three cabin configuration, meaning it’ll have 14 first class seats, 76 business class seats, and 429 economy class seats.

Of course Emirates’ A380 is equipped with two shower suites for first class passengers, as well as an onboard bar. However, this might be the first ever A380 flight too short for anyone to enjoy those amenities.

Emirates-Bar

It’s my understanding that showers were offered on the Dubai to Kuwait City flight, though they were prioritized by status, etc. With a flight time of 40 minutes (and the seatbelt sign on for probably half of that), something tells me they won’t even allow showers on this one.

Emirates-Shower

For a bit context, here’s a map with the world’s longest A380 flight next to the world’s (new) shortest A380 flight.

a380-flights

Given that D0ha is Qatar Airways’ home, something tells me that Emirates operating the A380 on the route might just be a fun way for them to remind their competitor of how many A380s they have. 😉

Comments

  1. Still not the shortest ever Air France was 214 miles from Paris CDG to London Heathrow

    However it is £1200ish for first class on the new service.

  2. It’s to do with the UAE’s obsession with records-it always wants to be “the longest” “the shortest” the highest” “the lowest” etc etc ad nauseam…..

  3. Emirates probably realized they had an A380 sitting idle for several hours at DXB, so a smart idea was to fly it on a short route to someplace not likely to have bad weather that could cause delay.

  4. Very interesting!

    I often take these flights between DOH & DXB and at peak times they are often pretty full. Emirates is probably the second most popular airline that flies in and out of DOH.

    The most annoying thing is when you arrive in DXB it normally takes the same amount of time as the flight to walk from gate to gate for the connecting flight! Hopefully A380 to A380 will mean less of a walk! Plus also removing the possibility of having to get a bus at either end!

  5. Aircraft utilization, there’s pretty much zero cost for the aircraft to be on the route, just a question of incremental fuel and staffing. Once you’ve got the planes flying long haul with several hours on the ground this can make more sense than a dedicated short haul fleet. In contrast QR has a bunch of narrowbodies flying short haul.

    It’s also a big market. EK has plenty of flights on the route, QR has even more. And flydubai serves is frequently too.

    While the amenities of the plane are overkill on the route, that’s equally true of current widebodies flying. But it does help their branding and encourage customers to fly EK’s long haul network.

    Not saying the plane necessarily makes sense on the route, but it’s not quite crazy either.

  6. ME3 carriers can do a lot on a 40 minute flight. I did DXB-DOH in QR C last year (dubbed F at the time) and got a full meal with three champagne refills…

  7. There will probably be a market between DOH and DXB, as QR flies 107 weekly flights, FZ has 10 daily and EK has 9 daily flights. Emirates might be having an aircraft with a long layover time in Dubai, and decided to utilize this aircraft for this 3 hour slot time. But, I wouldn’t expect much utilization of the amenities in the upper classes definitely.

  8. “The flight from Dubai to Doha covers a distance of 235 miles, and typically has a flight time of about 40 minutes. For context, this flight is over a hundred miles shorter than a flight between Los Angeles and San Francisco.”

    Huh? The straight line distance from LAX to SFO is 338 miles. How is 235 miles “over 100 miles shorter than a flight between Los Angeles and San Francisco”?

  9. EK841 is often full. I’ve had at least 3 occasions in the last 6 months where I couldn’t get a seat on it in any class. The Dubai – Doha commute is significant. Basic rule of doing business in Qatar is to have just enough people there to convince them you’re serious and then base everyone else in Dubai (otherwise either they’ll leave after a year because they’ve lost the plot, or their wife will leave them and you’re stuck with a sad, unproductive, panda).

  10. Oops, I’m an idiot. In my mind I read “100 TIMES shorter” instead of 100 MILES shorter.

    Looks like I need to learn to read and re-read BEFORE I post something!

    Sorry about that!

  11. Wondering if they will use a high density seating 380 for that route…as I can’t see what service difference there would be (time for) between first & business on that short route !

  12. “EK841 Dubai to Doha departing 7:45AM arriving 8:05AM
    EK842 Doha to Dubai departing 9:50AM arriving 12:00PM”

    DXB-DOH = 20min
    DOH-DXB = 2hrs 10min
    Something is wrong?!

  13. Why is it “ridiculous”?

    Even a short flight would be much more pleasant in an A-380 than, say, a Dash-8 or ATR-48 which might typically fly such a distance.

    I’ve flown a 747 from Adu Dhabi to Dubai, and it was glorious.

  14. I think there is enough demand for an A380, and aircraft utilization reasoning makes sense. However, one reason many airlines tend not to use wide-bodies for a short filler flight is depreciation: the actions of taking-off and landing add much more to wear & tear to the equipment than several hours of cruising in high altitude. This is the main cost (other than incremental fuel & staff) in this case.

  15. I think there is a market for this. Also, it is about getting a gate? Inter-GCC routes are bormally serviced through buses, with A380 they secure one of the A380 gates at DOH.

    A lot of Asian migrant workes uses EY for flights to their countries.

    I flew QR to CPH last week and it was full flight both ways; a lot of people using Doha to connect with Australasia.

    Problem are cheap prices; in a war pricing route, eith flydubai charging ~96$ rountrip, they need to increase passenger yields. This may be a reason.
    Not crazy at all.

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