Saturday, June 26, 2010

Emirates May Operate A380 Trial Run To Delhi


AWIN First Jun 25 , 2010
Neelam Mathews

Emirates Airlines may fly its Airbus A380 to Delhi for a test run just as the new Terminal 3 at Indira Gandhi International Airport opens to international airlines on July 15, .

India’s civil aviation regulator has received Emirates Airline’s request to fly Airbus A380 to Delhi, Director General of Civil Aviation Nasim Zaidi said in a statement to Bloomberg News.

It is not clear whether the pending approval is for the one-time run or for scheduled flights to Delhi. Enquiries to Emirates remained unanswered.

GMR, the major stakeholder of the Delhi airport, earlier asked Airbus to fly an A380 to Delhi for the terminal’s inauguration on July 3, The DAILY has learned. But after Airbus agreed, GMR reportedly changed its mind.

Emirates and Lufthansa have applications pending to fly the A380 into India; however, sources close to the matter say the Ministry of Civil Aviation is not in a hurry to give the permission because it might affect the business of flag carrier Air India.

A third runway at Gandhi Airport was started in late 2008, and the new terminal has two gates set aside for the A380.

No airlines have applied for permission to operate A380s from Mumbai because the Delhi airport is the only one to have a Code F runway to accommodate the superjumbo.

Emirates, which is completing 25 years of service to India, operates 184 weekly flights from 10 Indian destinations to Dubai.

Emirates now operates 10 A380s, serving London Heathrow, Toronto, Paris, Jeddah, Bangkok, Seoul, Sydney and Auckland. The airline expects the number of destinations to increase. A380 services to Manchester start Sept. 1. The A380 will return to New York on Oct. 31 with double daily flights.

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