Emirates to Serve Nice With A380 Eight Months After Truck Attack

  • Switch to superjumbo indicates tourists returning to Riviera
  • Etihad said last week it would send double-decker to Paris

Emirates, the world’s biggest long-haul airline, will serve Nice on the French Riviera using an A380 superjumbo this summer, signaling a revival in tourist demand eight months after a terrorist drove a truck into crowds on the resort’s promenade, killing more than 80 people.

The Dubai-based carrier will deploy the Airbus Group SE jet on daily services to Nice Cote d’Azur Airport as of July 1, providing a 44 percent capacity boost compared with the Boeing Co. 777-300ER that’s currently used, it said in a statement Thursday.

The Emirates announcement comes a week after Abu Dhabi-based rival Etihad Airways said it would use an A380 for one of its two daily Paris services during the peak July 1 to Oct. 28 period after an upsurge in demand. Travel to France fell amid a series of attacks that began in 2015, with hotel bookings in Nice slumping 30 percent in immediate aftermath of the July 14 deaths.

Nice airport has upgraded its boarding bridge and juggled operations to accommodate the double-decker, Dominique Thillaud, its president, said in the release, while Emirates Chief Commercial Officer Thierry Antinori predicted that deployment of the A380 will provide a further boost to visitor numbers.

Emirates will also provide a helicopter link to Monaco through a partnership local operator Monacair. The service will be complimentary for first-class passengers and cost 79 euros ($85) for those traveling business class and 109 euros for customers in coach.

The Persian Gulf giant first flew to Nice in 1994 and transported more than 200,000 people on the route last year. Demand on its U.S.-bound services may come under pressure following a federal government edict banning passengers from carrying laptops, tablet computers and other large electronic devices into the aircraft cabin.

— With assistance by Deena Kamel

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