This will be the first time that the airliner has flown commercial services to the city, according to the Dubai-based operator
Emirates will introduce the first scheduled commercial Airbus A380 service to Istanbul from October 1, the airline has announced.
The carrier will operate the aircraft on its daily EK123/124 service, which will leave Dubai at 1045hrs and arrive in the Turkish city at 1425hrs. The return journey - EK124 - will subsequently depart at 1625hrs.
As international borders reopen and travel restrictions ease, Emirates has gradually resumed passenger flights to the region, and soon plans to operate 17 weekly passenger flights from its hub to Istanbul.
The aircraft will increase the route’s total weekly capacity to 7,000 seats in each direction, whilst complementing two other services operated by its Boeing 777s.
“We are excited to finally bring our flagship to Istanbul to join many other top cities we currently serve with the A380,” said Adnan Kazim, the operator’s chief commercial officer. “Since Emirates started operating to Turkey 34 years ago, we have carried six million customers on more than 23,000 flights. Bringing the A380 service to Turkey is a major milestone for Emirates and we would like to thank all our partners and stakeholders for their support in making this a reality.”
Majid Khan, vice president of Istanbul Airport, added: “Since we moved to our new home at Istanbul Airport on 6 April 2019, Emirates’ A380 entry is another milestone for us. I am proud that the world’s largest A380 operator, Emirates, will operate the Dubai-Istanbul route with their flagship, making it the first ever A380 operation at Istanbul Airport and Turkey.
“This increase will help to boost traffic between our two nations. In the post-COVID-19 era, through Emirates’ extensive network, it will bring more inbound tourism to Istanbul and Turkey from currently unserved or underserved destinations. We are looking forward to further developing our good relations with Emirates and would like to welcome the Emirates A380 to Istanbul Airport.”