Dubai airline Emirates received its 80th A380 aircraft from Airbus at the Vienna Airport in Austria on Wednesday.
The jumbo jet, which flew in direct from the Airbus production facility in Hamburg, will be used to serve the Dubai-Vienna route from July 1.
Emirates will become the first airline to operate a scheduled A380 service into Vienna.
The special one-off visit by the 80th A380 was intended to test technical procedures at the airport like pier docking, movement of the aircraft on the apron into its correct parking position, specialised aircraft cleaning inside and out and the loading and unloading of catering and baggage.
Four airport gates will be merged into one to provide a large enough space for docking and handling of the wide body aircraft.
Vienna Airport has also introduced long-term changes to its apron infrastructure, investments in aircraft handling equipment, gate and boarding facilities, and airside terminal areas.
Emirates has been operating on the Vienna-Dubai route since 2004 and since then has carried almost three million passengers on its double daily service.
The A380, which can seat 519 passengers, will increase Emirates’ capacity to carry over 1,700 passengers between Dubai and Vienna every day.
The added capacity is expected to help boost tourism and trade in Austria. In 2015, over 115,000 visitors arrived into Austria from the UAE, a 34.8 per cent increase compared to the year before.
Emirates’ 14 weekly frequencies also support close to 1,800 full-time jobs in Austria, generating economic impact on the national GDP worth approximately €179m (roughly $202m) a year, the airline said.
New flight details
From July 1, EK127/EK128 will be served by the A380 with EK127 starting in Dubai daily at 08:55hrs and landing in Vienna at 12:55 hrs. EK128 departs from Vienna at 15:05hrs and arrives back in Dubai at 22:45 hrs.
EK 125/EK126 will continue to be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER.
Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the Airbus A380s and has ordered 142 jets from the aircraft manufacturer. It flies the aircraft to over 40 destinations worldwide.