DUBAI: Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, marked aviation history yesterday as the A380 landed in Russia’s northern capital, St. Petersburg. Welcomed at 20:50 local time at Pulkovo International Airport (LED), this is the first time the iconic double decker aircraft has landed in St. Petersburg.
A welcome ceremony was held at the airport in attendance of Vadim Besperstov, Emirates Manager for Russian Federation and CIS, Julien Franiatte, Airbus Head of Country Russia, and Vladimir Yakushev, Chief Executive Officer of Northern Capital Gateway, trade officials and esteemed media members.
Due to increased passenger demand, Emirates will deploy its A380 and temporarily replace the Boeing 777 aircraft that is currently operating the route. From October 25 to October 28 – the airline will be carrying close to 2,350 passengers to and from St. Petersburg.
Vadim Besperstov, Emirates Manager for Russian Federation and CIS said: “It is a pleasure to share this historical moment in aviation with our partners from Pulkovo International Airport and Airbus. The arrival of our double decker aircraft is not only a testament to the airport’s readiness to handle the A380 operations, but also reflects the healthy passenger demand on our Russian routes. We thank our partners at Pulkovo International Airport and Airbus who have made this temporary operational change a success. Russia is a very important market for us and we remain committed to serving the country.”
Vladimir Yakushev, CEO of Pulkovo International Airport operator Northern Capital Gateway LLC, commented: “Pulkovo International Airport and Emirates have been partners since 2011. We are proud to see one of the world’s leading airlines grow and expand its services in St. Petersburg, offering Emirates’ exclusive travel opportunities from the city. The temporary A380 flights on the Dubai to St. Petersburg route demonstrates the high potential for passenger demand from both sides. Pulkovo International Airport is certified and fully equipped to handle an aircraft of such type. Should the airline decide to further use it on St. Petersburg route for the peak periods or other occasions, Pulkovo team will provide the aircraft handling and passenger services according to Emirates highest standards.”
Mr. Julien Franiatte, Head of Country Russia, Airbus, said: “The A380 is the most favoured passenger aircraft. It provides travellers with an unrivalled level of comfort, while also being the quietest aircraft in its class. Thanks to Emirates, our biggest A380 customer and operator, one more airport will be added to the A380 destinations network and in the following days, passengers travelling from St. Petersburg will have an opportunity to experience all the advantages of this wonderful aircraft.”
Emirates’ operations in Russia started in 2003 and since then, has grown to serve two significant gateways across the country. The airline has also recently announced a third daily flight to Moscow Domodedovo airport, offering travelers 28 flights a week from Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Passengers travelling on Emirates can continue their journey and connect to more than 160 destinations, including popular holiday routes such as Mauritius, Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, and others, via a seamless stopover in Dubai.
Emirates flight EK 175 operated in a three-class configuration with a total of 519 seats, with 429 spacious seats in Economy on the main deck, 76 fully flat-bed seats in Business and 14 First Class Private Suites on the upper deck.
The temporary Emirates A380 flights will be operating with the following schedule: EK175 will depart Dubai at 15:45 and arrive in St. Petersburg at 20:50, while the return flight, EK176 will leave St. Petersburg at 23:55 and arrive in Dubai at 06:55 the following morning.*
Discover the Emirates A380
The Emirates A380 is renowned for its First Class Shower Spas as well as the On-board Lounge for First and Business Class passengers, arguably the most popular social spot at 40,000 feet. Offering a wide range of drinks and canapés, the on-board lounge is the ideal space to socialise or simply relax. Customers travelling on the main deck in Economy Class can enjoy comfortable seats with a pitch of up to 33 inches.
Explore the A380 seats, the spacious cabin and Emirates on-board product by using the airline’s recently launched web virtual reality (VR) technology on its digital platform, offering a 3D immersive experience of the three class aircraft and a 360 degree view of the interior of the Emirates A380.
Customers travelling for the autumn break can start their holiday on a high note with Emirates by experiencing ultimate comfort and quality service on-board. Passengers can expect a variety of Russian channels on demand provided by ice, the award winning in-flight entertainment system, regionally inspired menus, and up to 20 MB of free Wi-Fi.
Emirates operates the largest A380 fleet with 105 aircraft in service and another 57 pending delivery.
Discover St. Petersburg
Known as “Venice of the North,” Russia’s northern capital offers many museums, historical monuments and artistic galleries, including the world renowned, Dali Museum. Visitors can marvel at the historical centre which has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and explore the city’s past by visiting the Hermitage Museum – showcasing art and culture since of 1764 – and the Peterhof Palace, a series of palaces and gardens known as the “Russian Versailles.”
Emirates connects Russia to Dubai with 28 flights per week – three times a day from Moscow and a daily service from St Petersburg. News Desk