Mumbai, Jul 22 (PTI) Gulf carrier Emirates became the second airline to operate jumbo A380 aircraft to India after Singapore Airlines, with the commencement of its first daily flight to Mumbai from Dubai.
Emirates flight EK-500 took off from Dubai International airport at 21:55 hours (local time) yesterday and arrived at city’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport (CSIA) at 02:30 am (local time), a release said here today.
The return flight EK-501 took off from Terminal 2 of the CSIA at 04:30 am (local time) and arrived back at Emirates Terminal 3 in Dubai at 06.00 am (local time), it said.
“Mumbai was one of the first destinations on our route network when we launched in 1985. So it is quite fitting that the city becomes our 29th A380 destination. In addition to this, we will continue to operate the four daily services to the city,” Emirates’ senior vice president for commercial operations (West Asia and Indian Ocean), Ahmed Khoory, said.
Late January, the government had cleared the decks for A380 operations from Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore airports, lifting a five-year-old ban.
The restriction, which was lifted by the Civil Aviation Ministry after several years of demands by major foreign carriers, was imposed in 2008 as the government then felt these massive jets would help foreign airlines take away a large chunk of global traffic which could be detrimental to Indian carriers’ interests.
Singapore Airlines became the first carrier to operate A380 on India routes in May with A380 flights to Delhi and Mumbai from Singapore.