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 destination’s 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.*