Emirates Will Operate The World’s Shortest Scheduled A380 Flight Ever

Emirates is by far the world’s largest operator of the A380. The airline exclusively has 777s and A380s, so they operate huge planes on short routes (and also huge planes on long routes, obviously).

As it stands, the airline operates the world’s longest and shortest regularly scheduled A380 routes. The longest is their Dubai to Auckland flight (8,824 miles), while the shortest is their Dubai to Kuwait City flight (530 miles).

Previously they used to operate A380 flights between Dubai and Doha, which was just a 235 mile flight, but given the Gulf blockade, they don’t fly to Qatar anymore.

Emirates sometimes operates one-off flights with A380s for one of two reasons:

While at this point it’s only a technicality, Emirates will be operating the world’s shortest ever scheduled passenger A380 flight this coming week. Specifically, Emirates will fly an A380 between Dubai and Muscat this coming Sunday, July 1, 2018. The following flight will be operated by an A380:

EK862 Dubai to Muscat departing 8:25AM arriving 9:35AM
EK863 Muscat to Dubai departing 12:05PM arriving 1:10PM

The flight from Dubai to Muscat covers a distance of just 217 miles, so it beats the previous shortest A380 route by 18 miles. While the flight is blocked at 65-70 minutes, the actual flight time can be as little as 40 minutes eastbound and 35 minutes westbound, at least based on looking at flight data from the past several days.

As of now this flight is being operated on a one-off basis. This special flight is to celebrate Emirates’ 25th year of service to Oman, and also to help Muscat Airport make sure their new terminal can handle the A380. That suggests to me that maybe Emirates is in fact thinking of permanently flying the A380 to Muscat, since I can’t imagine any other airlines would ever fly an A380 there.

This is the shortest scheduled passenger flight we’ve ever seen on the A380. This doesn’t include shorter scheduled flights without passengers (like when Emirates flies their A380s from Dubai International to Dubai World Central to be parked), or unscheduled flights with passengers (like when a diversion is needed).

Emirates flying an A380 to Muscat isn’t the only interesting thing happening at the airport on July 1. That’s also the date that Oman Air is launching their new first class to London.

Comments

  1. Pretty certain that Air France did this between Paris and London, 214 miles, about 10 years ago…

  2. Yup. I’ve been on an af 380 lhr to cdg.

    They still managed to serve everyone a snack and a cocktail.

  3. I’ve actually done that flight in a “normal” sized passenger jet. Flying time is more like 20-25 minutes and altitude is so low that you can see the highway through the desert beautifully illuminated, but hardly any vehicles on the highway. May be quicker in a fast car when you take account of checking in and out of the airports!

  4. @Alex Good call out re: “They still managed to serve everyone a snack and a cocktail.” Two of my last three MCI-STL hops (237 miles) have gone like this. “Due to our very short flying time we will not offer beverage service today.” On a 737. So typical US carrier attitude.

  5. @Robert J Fahr – Exactly!

    I’m left flabbergasted each every time it takes 30 mins to board a 737 in the USA, when I see JL board a full 777-300ER in 7-10 mins flat each time.

    I truly wish there was some sort of education over the PA about boarding/deplaning prior to boarding.

    Short flights in the US, have a gate agent give out a bottle of water and call it a day. This old antiquated service of a beverage cart with cans of sugar. Not needed. Water and a pretzel. Done.

  6. @Jordan – I am not really sure why you are flabbergasted. It’s mainly the US carriers with their 2,500 boarding groups that are the problem. No need for more than three groups: Premium seats, back of economy, front of economy. And if then the people would use overhead space near to their seat it all can be done in no time

  7. I think even a shorter flight was Dhahran, KSA to Bahrain back in the 70 & 80’s before the causeway was built. It took longer to board the plane than the actual flight.
    Dhahran to Bahrain: 55.13 KM / 34.25 Miles

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