Emirates Fits A380 With 615 Seats for High-Density Danish Trips

Emirates will start its highest-capacity Airbus A380 service this year, fitting the world’s biggest passenger model with 615 seats for flights to Copenhagen.

By reducing the number of classes to two from three, Emirates will beat its previous maximum of 517 seats on A380s plying medium-haul routes. The first superjumbos it deployed featured only 489 seats on longer-distance flights.

While the A380 is cleared to carry 853 people in a single-class layout and is being pushed by Airbus as a high-capacity workhorse, most operators have deployed it as a luxury flagship. Air Austral, which specified a 840-seat design, has no firm delivery date, leaving 652-seaters ordered by Russia’s Transaero Airlines as set to mark the next peak should it take the planes.

Emirates began Copenhagen flights in 2011 with Airbus Group NV A330 wide-bodies before moving to larger Boeing Co. 777s. “Based on strong load factors, we are happy to further upgrade the route,” President Tim Clark said in a statement.

With its fleet of 59 A380s -- out of 140 it has ordered -- Emirates has siphoned inter-continental traffic through its Dubai hub and away from European legacy carriers including Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Air France-KLM Group.

The Gulf carrier will offer one A380 flight a day to Copenhagen starting in December, providing Scandinavia’s first superjumbo service. The aircraft will feature 58 flat-bed berths in business class and 557 seats in economy, giving a total capacity of 4,305 passengers a week in each direction.

Leading local operator SAS AB doesn’t serve the route.

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