Emirates Announces Its First A350 Destinations

Emirates has been operating quite a streamlined fleet for quite some time now. The airline used to operate a variety of Boeing and Airbus planes. A list which used to include the A340 (in the 300 and 500 variants) the and the A330-200. However all of these planes have long been retired with the only 2 aircraft types remaining in operation being the Boeing 777s and the Airbus A380s. However this status quo is not to remain so for much longer. Emirates is expecting to receive the A350-900 shortly and it has just announced which will be the first destinations it’ll fly its new fleet addition to.

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Where Will Emirates Fly Its First A350s?

Although the Dubai based airline hasn’t placed orders for the 1000 version of the A350 it does hold a significant order for 65 A350-900s. These planes will gradually be included into the airline’s fleet. The first of these new planes will be arriving at DXB in the second half of the 2024 summer season. Entry into service is expected to take place in the month of September.

The first region to be served by the new Emirates Airbus A350s is unsurprisingly the Gulf Region. I say it’s unsurprising as often airlines use new jets on shorter routes first to get the hang of a new plane and sort out SOPs (standard operating procedures). Then the jet will be introduced on slightly longer routes, such as those to India and finally by the later stages of 2024 on services to Europe.

With all of that being said, here’s the plan for the rollout of the first Emirates A350 routes:

RegionDateDestinationAirport CodeFlight Number
Middle EastSeptember 15 2024BahrainBAHEK839
Middle EastSeptember 16 2024KuwaitKWIEK853
Middle EastDecember 1 2024MuscatMCTEK866
West AsiaOctober 27 2024MumbaiBOMEK502
West AsiaOctober 27 2024AhmedabadAMDEK538
West AsiaJanuary 1 2025ColomboCMBEK654
EuropeDecember 1 2024LyonLYSEK81
EuropeDecember 1 2024BolognaBLQEK93
EuropeNovember 4 2024EdinburghEDIEK23
Emirates A380 Tail at DXB Terminal 3

The Emirates Airbus A350 Configuration

While for the A380s and the 777s Emirates is moving forward with a massive retrofitting effort, the A350s will already feature the new cabins. All new Airbus A350s will come with the new Business class cabin and Premium Economy.

Specifically these new Airbus wide body planes will feature:

  • 32 Business Class Seats
  • 21 Premium Economy Seats
  • 259 Economy Class Seats

Business class finally moves away from the anachronistic 2-3-2 layout. In its place a more up to date 1-2-1 layout will be installed in an alternating layout. Odd row numbers will have window seats closer to the aisle and central seats in the so-called honeymoon setup (close to each other). Even rows will have central seats farther apart and window seats closer to the window itself. If travelling alone I would favour the window seats on the even rows.

Also nice about this new Business class cabin is that it is totally contained between doors 1 and 2. That means that there won’t be other passengers passing through the cabin when business class boarding is complete.

Emirates A350-900 Business Class Seat Map

These are the first next generation jets to enter the EK fleet. Next to come are the Boeing 787 Dreamliners and, once certified, the massive Boeing 777x. A plane Emirates has invested heavily in for its future fleet plans.

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