Emirates is doing its own take in the airline distance stakes by breaking its own record for the world’s shortest flight on the Airbus A380.
The airline has upgauged its Dubai-Muscat service from the Boeing 777-300ER to the Airbus A380, with its first flights on the route using world’s largest commercial passenger aircraft kicking off on Monday (United Arab Emirates time).
This Dubai-Muscat flight measures 188nm according to the Great Circle Mapper, which slices 16nm off Emirates’ previous shortest A380 service beteween Dubai and Doha.
Flights to Doha were cancelled in June 2017 over a diplomatic row between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
After Muscat, the next shortest route that Emirates regularly flies with the A380 is between Dubai and Kuwait, a distance of 461nm.
The start of regularly scheduled A380 flights between Dubai and Muscat comes a year after Emirates operated a one-off A380 flight on the route to mark the airline’s 25 year of operations to the Oman capital.
Emirates will serve Muscat twice daily with the A380. A morning flight will depart Dubai at 0825 local time, arriving in Muscat at 0940. The return service takes off from Muscat at 1115, arriving back in Dubai at 1225.
Meanwhile, the second service has been scheduled to leave Dubai at 1610, arriving in Muscat at 1725. The reciprocal service takes off at 1905, arriving in Dubai at 2015.
Emirates said it would serve Muscat with its three-class A380s that feature 429 seats in economy on the lower deck, 76 in business and 14 in first on the upper deck.
In addition to the two A380 services, Emirates also has a third daily flight operated by a Boeing 777-300ER.
The Qantas alliance partner also holds the record for the longest nonstop flight on an A380 for its 7,668nm service between Dubai and Auckland, which has a flying time of 15 hours and 45 minutes southbound and 17 hours and five minutes northbound.
Airbus announced in February that it would stop production of the A380 in 2021 after Emirates cut future orders of the super-jumbo by 39. The airline has 111 A380s in its fleet, making it Airbus’s biggest customer for the aircraft.
To mark the Muscat route Emirates released some statistics, including the fact that the distance on the route was shorter than the 500 kilometres of wiring in the plane if it was laid out end to end.
It also said 25,000 catering items would be loaded on the A380 for services between Dubai and Muscat and that it has carried more than 150,000 tonnes of cargo on the route since 2008 – more than the weight of 260 A380s when each aircraft was at its maximum weight.