Emirates Operates The First Passenger Airbus A380 Service To Istanbul

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Emirates is gradually building out its Airbus A380 service as it shows the world that there is a place for the Airbus A380. Over the next two months, the airline is actually planning to add 11 Airbus A380 destinations to its network. One of these is Istanbul.

Emirates operates two daily flights to Istanbul, accompanied by a third service that runs on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. These had always been performed by the airline’s Boeing 777 fleet. However, on Friday, October 1st, something a little heavier touched down in the Turkish largest city.

Emirates flight EK123 departed Dubai slightly late at 11:08. According to data from RadarBox.com, the aircraft had been due to leave its home at 10:45. The jet then climbed to an altitude of 40,000 feet. Despite its late departure, flight 123 made up for its delay in the flight, landing in Istanbul at 14:32. It had been scheduled to arrive three minutes later.

Emirates, Airbus A380, Istanbul
Despite a delayed arrival, EK123 arrived in Istanbul three minutes early. Photo: RadarBox.com

The lucky aircraft that operated the first A380 flight to Istanbul was A6-EUC. According to ch-aviation.com, it is 5.61 years old, having first flown on February 26th, 2016. Since delivery in September of that year, the aircraft has clocked 15,923 flight hours until June 30th, 2021. With 2,548 flight cycles, the aircraft is currently valued at $61.31 million.

The route between Dubai and Istanbul is an important one. Emirates’ partner airline, flydubai, also operates flights alongside Turkish Airlines. Emirates took its first flight on October 25th, 1985. Istanbul was one of the early routes operated by the airline, with the first flight to the city operating on July 31st, 1987

Since then, Emirates has carried over six million passengers between the two cities on over 23,000 flights. Of course, even the Boeing 777 wouldn’t have operated those early flights to the Turkish largest city. Now the city will be served by daily Airbus A380 flights, alongside ten Boeing 777 flights each week.

Emirates, Airbus A380, Premium Economy
Emirates also flies the Boeing 777 to Istanbul. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying