The Dubai-based Emirates Airline will stop flying its Airbus A380 superjumbo jets currently operating its daily flight route to New York’s JFK airport, and instead will replace it with the Boeing 777- 300ER, reducing the capacity by 132 seats, according to ArabianBussines.com.
As of June I, 2009, one of the two the Emirates’ Airbus A380 planes currently operating on the NY-Dubai route will be redeployed to the Dubai-Toronto service and the other to the Dubai-Bangkok route, the site reported.
The decision, which is motivated by the current economic situation, will, however, not affect Emirates’ plans for further expansion in the United States which includes the opening of daily services to Los Angeles and San Francisco on May 1.
The A380 is the world’s largest passenger aircraft and can hold up to 525 passengers depending on seat configuration. It was introduced to the market in 2008 and includes features such as suites and bathrooms with showers.
So far, the Emirates have ordered 58 A380s at an estimated value of $1.5 billion and, according to the company, are an essential part of its expansion plans for the future. The Dubai-New York route was the first where the A380 was introduced.
Emirates Airlines was established by the government of Dubai in 1985 as part of the government’s efforts to diversify the small Gulf Emirates’ economy. As opposed to its neighbor Abu Dhabi, Dubai does not have an abundance of oil and early on the government focused on developing the country’s travel and tourism sector.