Home' Asian Aviation : AAV November 2010 Contents AsianAviation | NOVEMBER 39
Emirates inaugurates A380 Hong Kong service
Dubai-based airline Emirates gave
a boost to Hong Kong's National
Day celebrations on 1 October,
with the first arrival in Hong
Kong of one of the carrier's Airbus
A380s, just hours before a dazzling
reworks display lit up the iconic harbour skyline.
With festivities in full swing across the city, the
superjumbo landed at Hong Kong International Airport
(HKIA) to mark the start of the carrier's daily A380
ser vice connecting Hong Kong and Dubai, via Bangkok.
Flight EK384, carrying 328 passengers, touched down
at 6pm local time, and was welcomed by a water-cannon
salute as Hong Kong became the 11th destination in
Emirates network to be ser ved by the largest commercial
aircra in the skies.
Richard Jewsbury, Emirates' senior vice-president of
commercial operations for the Far East and Australasia,
said: "It was tremendous that our Airbus A380 made
its maiden ight to Hong Kong on a day of national
celebration. Hong Kong is a thriving commercial hub
and -- along with Greater China -- is integral to the future
growth of the world economy."
" is economic strength makes it a key market for
Emirates and we are delighted to be bolstering our
commitment to the region by bringing our agship
aircra to Hong Kong," he added.
e 517-seat, double-deck jetliner will help meet
growing passenger demand on the route, especially in
premium business and rst-class cabins, Jewsbury said.
The aircraft was warmly received by the airport
operator, Airport Authority of Hong Kong (AA).
"We have a long established relationship with Emirates,
which goes back to 1991, and the announcement by
Emirates that they will operate their Airbus A380 aircra
between Hong Kong and Dubai signi es an important
development in our partnership," said Stanley Hui, chief
executive o cer of the AA.
Edwin Lau, Emirates' Vice-President for Greater China,
added that the new ser vice comes just two months a er
Emirates launched A380 ights between Dubai and
"Having operated on the route for almost two decades,
Hong Kong has played an increasingly important role in
our global network. In addition to connecting passengers
to more than 100 destinations around the world, we
disperse a large volume of cargo," Lau said. "Each week,
more than 2,300 tonnes of freight is transported by
Emirates across the belly-hold capacity of 14 passenger
ights and 19 dedicated freighter ser vices, operated by
Emirates SkyCargo from Hong Kong."
Emirates eventually aims to have as many as 120
Airbus A380s, as its passenger numbers are increasing
by an impressive 20 percent annually. e carrier expects
this growth to remain steady for the next ve years, as
it takes delivery of the rst batch of 90 aircra it has
ordered, airline President Tim Clark said.
"We would like some more [A380s] but we are
going to run short of space," he said. "One hundred and
twenty was the baseline gure that the planners worked
to get where we needed to be, but we couldn't order that
amount because it was too many for here, so 90 was a
e carrier will order more of the jetliners once it
gets additional space at its home base in Dubai, Clark
added. An additional order for 30 of the airliners would
be worth about US$10 billion' at list prices. If the airline
went ahead with its growth plans it would have an A380
eet worth more than US$40 billion.
Emirates, already by far the biggest A380 customer,
announced a record US$11bn order for 32 of the
superjumbos at the Berlin Air Show in June. At July's
Farnborough Air Show, Emirates also ordered 30 Boeing
777-300ER widebody twinjets in a deal potentially
worth more than US$9 billion. He added that Emirates
is talking to Boeing about where the manufacturer will
go next with the aircra .
"We are working with Boeing on the next generation of
777. We are still very interested in a replacement," Clark
Boeing has said it is considering the future of the
aircraft, which faces tough new competition from
Airbus's proposed A350 XWB.
e rapid expansion of Middle Eastern carriers such
as Emirates, Abu Dhabi's Etihad and Qatar Airways, has
caused consternation among rivals, triggering mutual
accusations of protectionism. Competitors fear that
Gulf-based superjumbos will siphon tra c away from
their own hubs.
US and European airlines last week launched a
campaign to change rules which allow foreign airlines
to receive export credits for Airbus and Boeing aircra .
Clark said it is natural for Emirates to take advantage
of export credit, where available. He added that it is up
to the governments to choose whether to support their
aircra -manufacturing industries.
e Dubai-based airline has also repeatedly denied
claims by rival European carriers that its fuel expenses are
subsidized. "I have said: 'You prove a subsidy and I will
resign the next day.' It is completely wrong," Clark said.
European airlines say nancing rules mean European
taxpayers are funding the growth of airlines such as
Emirates through export aid that is denied to their own
"If they spent as much time running their business as
they do trying to run us down, they might make even
more money," Clark said.
Dubai's Emirates added its own flavour to Hong Kong's National Day celebrations this year with the arrival of the
airline's inaugural Airbus A380 service in the Asian hub, writes Sam Chui.
Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department Director
General Norman Lo (centre), and Stephen Kwok,
Assistant Director-General, Air Services, are
presented with a commemorative A380 model by
Emirates Vice-President Edwin Lau (right).
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