On Friday 6th July 2012, Gatwick Airport saw one of the first official scheduled landing of the beautiful A380 Airbus.
In conjunction with the 25th UK anniversary of Emirates, history was made as the Airbus A380 flew into Gatwick Airport, the very first scheduled flight of its kind.
Shelley speaks to Laurie Berryman, Vice President UK, Emirates:
With five hundred and seventeen seats, the airbus is the world’s largest commercial airliner. The aircraft includes Private Suites and Onboard Shower Spas in First Class, flat beds in Business Class, an Onboard Lounge for First Class and Business Class customers, and more generous seats and wider aisles in Economy Class. Passengers throughout the aircraft can enjoy the airline’s award-winning ice entertainment system, with over 1,300 channels of on-demand entertainment. The design and luxury passengers can expect while travelling on this amazing aircraft is just breathtaking.
Emirates started its UK operation on 6th July 1987 with a daily service from London Gatwick to Dubai. Today, the airline offers 16 daily flights from six UK airports – with three daily services from Gatwick alone – to Dubai and beyond to a network of over 120 destinations worldwide.
“Since 1987, Gatwick has been at the heart of our UK operation and we are proud to see our A380 touch down here today,” said Laurie Berryman, Vice President UK. “When this special anniversary service departed for Dubai this afternoon, it did so with over 500 passengers on board. Given the popularity of the aircraft with passengers from the South East, it is our hope that Gatwick will join Emirates’ A380 network in the future,” he added.
“Today’s arrival of a scheduled Emirates A380 flight from Dubai was an historical and special moment for Gatwick.” said Guy Stephenson, Gatwick Airport’s Chief Commercial Officer. “It is the very first time that Gatwick has welcomed a scheduled A380 flight. This is a huge achievement for the airport. This flight arrives at a time when Gatwick is investing in its A380 pier infrastructure, allowing us to pier serve the aircraft from next summer. The A380 is rapidly becoming the aircraft of choice to serve major long haul trunk routes. We want Gatwick to be playing its part in this exciting new era of long-haul travel and helping to increase connectivity to key markets.”
Gatwick have invested a massive forty three million pounds into developing gateways to host the new arrivals. These have yet to be completed but this could give other airlines the green light to start landing their A380’s at Gatwick.
This auspicious occasion was attended by many local business people and VIP’s including Henry Smith MP who was ‘blown away’ by the enormity and luxury of the airbus.
“After 25 years I welcome Emirates renewed commitment to Gatwick by flying in their new A380’s – that’s good for local economy and employment”
Emirates has twenty one A380 aircraft in its fleet with a further sixty nine on order, serving an ever expanding network of destinations including Sydney, Auckland, Bangkok, Seoul, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo and from 1st October, Melbourne. The airline has just announced Adelaide as its fifth gateway into Australia from 1st November.
We would like to thank Laurie Berryman for speaking to us and Joelle Watkins for making us feel more than welcome. CHT would like to wish you all the best for a continued successful future.
Our tour of Economy on the A380 and pictures of Business Class & First Class:
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