Gigantic Emirates A380 to fly year-round on Glasgow-Dubai route

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Emirates is to fly the world's largest passenger plane year-round between Glasgow and Dubai.

The move from March follows the double-decker Airbus A380 making its Scottish operational debut on the route last summer.

An Emirates Airbus A380 similar to this one operated from Glasgow for the first time last summer. Picture: John Devlin

An Emirates Airbus A380 similar to this one operated from Glasgow for the first time last summer. Picture: John Devlin

An Emirates spokesperson told The Scotsman: “Emirates can confirm that it plans to operate a year-round daily Airbus A380 service between Glasgow and Dubai, beginning end of March 2020.”

The decision also confirms Glasgow Airport's confidence that it would win back the 489-seat plane after the five-month trial which started last April

An A380 previously made a one-off visit to Glasgow in 2014 to mark the route’s tenth anniversary.

Glasgow Airport has described the service as one of its “biggest success stories”, carrying more than four million passengers, many flying on from Emirates’ Dubai hub to Asia and Australia.

The bar aboard an Emirates Airbus A380. Picture: John Devlin

The bar aboard an Emirates Airbus A380. Picture: John Devlin

It led to the airline launching Dubai flights from Edinburgh in 2018.

Emirates' second daily Glasgow-Dubai service will continue to be operated by a 360-seat Boeing 777.

BACKGROUND: Watch as gigantic Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft touches down in Glasgow

'Huge milestone'

Glasgow Airport managing director Mark Johnston hailed the A380 service last year as a “huge milestone” and a “first in Scottish aviation industry”.

The airport has spent more than £8 million on improvements to accommodate the aircraft, including a triple air bridge to cope with the volume of passengers.

Emirates' A380 comprises 14 private suites in first class, 76 lie-flat seats in business class, and 399 seats in economy.

READ MORE: Inside the gigantic Emirates' A380 'superjumbo' set to fly from Scotland

An on-board shower is available for first class passengers, along with a lounge on the aircraft for them and business class passengers.

Mr Johnston said today: “Emirates’ decision to operate a year-round daily service using the Airbus A380 is tremendous news and underlines the airline’s continued commitment to Glasgow Airport and its passengers.

“We invested significantly in our international pier infrastructure to vastly improve the experience for our long-haul carriers and passengers last year.

“The decision to make such a significant investment was a bold one.

However, the return of this iconic aircraft to daily service underlines our continued ambition and is testament to the Dubai route’s enduring popularity with our customers.

“This decision marks yet another milestone in a relationship with Emirates that dates back to 2004, when the first route between Scotland and the Middle East was launched at Glasgow Airport.

“Our Dubai double daily is Scotland’s leading long-haul route, so it’s fitting the world’s largest commercial passenger aircraft will play a part in the unique customer experience offered to Emirates’ passengers at Glasgow Airport.”

Aviation analyst John Strickland, of JLS Consulting, said: "The decision is a real vote of confidence in the airport.

"The Scottish market is an important one for the airline and Glasgow was its first route.

"Last year's test operation obviously yielded good results and had given the confidence to now make the A380 a permanent fixture."