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29/12/2008 – Will The Emirates A380 Make Its Final Departure From JFK By The Summer?
I have to admit, the sight of an Airbus A380 sitting at the end of a Jetway at New York’s JFK Terminal 4 is a fantastic sight. Looking at the Emirates A380 next to a Boeing 747-400 I have to wonder how long this 489 passenger aircraft can be sustained in this market and economic climate.
Now that the ‘wow’ factor of the A380 has worn off and multiple airlines are flying these massive aircraft all over the world I am taking a step back to look at these flights ‘by the numbers.’ Right now it does not look hopeful that Emirates will continue to fly the A380 to New York (JFK).
Airports have invested tens of millions of dollars on infrastructure adjustments to accommodate the wider, longer, heavier A380, with the New York/New Jersey Port Authority spending nearly US$180,000,000 to accept the new aircraft at New York’s JFK International Airport. Was the investment worth the potential to lose the under performing flight loads?
The passenger loads for the Emirates flights between New York’s JFK International Airport and Dubai International Airport (DXB) are not performing as expected Dubai is a connection point for the majority of Emirates passengers, not the destination. With faster and more cost effective connection options, can Emirates really afford to fly the massive A380, along with its daily Boeing 777-300ER?
Unfortunately as of today I see the Emirates A380 departing New York and not returning by the summer.
The Emirates A380 flights we see today in New York will probably be deployed to Toronto Pearson (YYZ) international Airport. Why YYZ? Emirates is capped at three flights per week from Toronto, and the A380 can increase their passenger load factors in a more effective manner than New York which is services with two non-stop flights daily.
A380 fans that don’t like my prediction need not worry; you’ll have A380 service again. Air France is scheduled to launch its A380 service from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG) to JFK’s Terminal 1 by the end of 2009.
…of course I could be wrong.