Emirates’ A380 sets course for Rome

Friday, 6 May 2011 02:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Emirates is sending its popular A380 aircraft to Rome to mark Fiumicino airport’s 50th anniversary, along with 150 years of Italian unification.

On 6 June, the superjumbo replaces EK 97 and EK 98 – departing Dubai at 0855hrs and arriving in Rome at 1315hrs. The flight leaves Fiumicino at 1645hrs and arrives in Dubai at 0035hrs the next day.

The one-off trip gives passengers travelling to and from Rome an opportunity to fly on the world’s most talked about airliner, offering 14 Private First Class Suites, 76 Business Class mini-pods and 427 seats in Economy Class.

“Our A380 demonstrates the future of aviation – both in terms of passenger experience and environmental sensitivity. This aircraft is sought after by travellers around the world, and now passengers travelling between Dubai and Rome have an opportunity to enjoy our superjumbo, while we join in the celebrations for both Fiumicino airport and Italy as a nation,” said Salem Obaidalla, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Europe & Russian Federation.

“Many of those who have watched and admired our A380 since its introduction to the fleet in 2008 may not realise that the A380 experience comes at no extra cost compared to our other aircraft,” added Mr Obaidalla.     

Flying into Rome on the back of the UN’s World Environment Day (5 June), the super-efficient A380 has impeccable environmental credentials.

The 517-seat double decker is the most significant advancement in reducing fuel consumption and emissions in four decades. Its Engine Alliance GP7200 engines are remarkably quiet and easily meet the strict new ICAO Stage Four noise level standards.

First Class passengers have access to two Onboard Shower Spas, while all premium passengers on the upper deck can socialise at 43,000 feet in the Onboard Lounge. Beverages are served once the aircraft reaches cruising altitude - all the way until descent.

“6 June will be an extraordinary day, a further confirmation of the successful relationship between Emirates and Aeroporti di Roma – ADR,” said Elia Pistola, ADR Executive Vice President – Aviation.

“This will be the first A380 arrival in Rome and we are going to celebrate it as the first Italian airport able to welcome an A380 flight with the full operational infrastructure. The new dedicated loading bridge is a strategic investment for Rome ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ airport as the A380 is the best aircraft to cover major and growing markets, as served by Emirates via Dubai,” said Pistola.

Emirates has been flying to Rome since 1992 and later added services to Milan and Venice – making a total of 35 flights a week to Italy. Passenger traffic on Emirates’ Italian routes has more than tripled since 2006, to over 900,000 passengers in 2010.

Italy is one the UAE’s largest global trade partners. Approximately 85 percent of the bilateral trade between the two countries is accounted for by Italian exports, such as designer luxury wear, home and office furniture, as well as machinery.

In 2010, Emirates’ freight to and from Italy grew by 21 per cent over the previous year, while the total value of trade between Italy and the UAE was 3.2 billion Euros.

“The economic and political ties between Italy and the UAE continue to grow stronger, reflected by billions of Euros in trade, billions of Euros of contracts and mutual investments and closer cooperation between the two countries,” said Italy’s Ambassador to the UAE, His Excellency, Giorgio Starace.

“Aviation is a key factor in the strengthening of ties and equipping Rome’s Fiumicino airport to handle the A380 reflects the importance Italy places on the aviation sector. This will also be a pivotal moment for Rome airport as it marks its 50th anniversary in a year when the nation is celebrating 150 years of unification,” Starace added.

This is the second time the flagship of the Emirates’ fleet has visited Italy. In July of last year, the A380 was sent to Milan for the unveiling of the new Fly Emirates AC Milan shirt in the presence of VIPs including His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group and Adriano Galliani, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of AC Milan.

Emirates currently flies to a total of 111 destinations across six continents with a fleet of 152 aircraft including 15 A380s. New services for 2011 include Basra, Geneva and Copenhagen, while Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires will come on line on 3 January 2012.