The other thing the makes me question this service is that the yahoo message comes from the same guy who brought news that Emirates were actively seeking a 2nd BHX-DXB route. My learned friend, Mr Emirates Worker reported thus:
"As a member of the Emirates UK Management Team, I'd be interested to know where you heard this. As far as I'm aware we have no plans to expand BHX services in the foreseeable future. December was an excellent month throughout the UK and the BHX loadfactor was good for a relatively new (1 year old) service at around 75%. It should also be good during February as we have channelled the majority of our Haj Pilgrim traffic onto the BHX flight. Currently the average BHX loadfactor is around 55/60%. It needs to be averaging 85/90%+ before we would consider a second service. The BHX route is currently scheduled to operate on a 'High Density' A330-200. You will have noticed that around 40% of the flights each month operate on the
smaller capacity 'Low Density' aircraft. The usual way these things happen is that once we manage to consistently fill the A330-200 HD, you will start seeing B777-200's substituted occasionally, eventually the daily schedule would become a higher capacity B777-200HD permanently. Only then would we look at a second service.
For comparison, the MAN route averages 85/90% loadfactors now (95% in December) and a second service (dep 20:00 ish) was planned for this summer.
However, the DXB/SYD service is remaining at 4 x weekly instead of going daily. Also the new services from DXB to MRU, PER and OSA announced for this year will depart from DXB in the 'early hours' and therefore connect with the current lunchtime departures from the UK. So the second MAN service has been shelved for the time being. We are currently trying to substitute a B777-300LD/HD from August or September on the lunchtime service to cope with the expected additional passengers. The MAN route started in November 1990 (yes it has been going 11 years !!!) operating 2 days a week on an A310-300 via FRA, then it went to an A300-600R via PAR 3 days a week and finally 4 days a week via ZRH and 3 non-stops before we went to a daily non-stop service in March 1999 when the A330-200 came into service.
The moral of the story is that any new route has to be able to walk unaided before it can break into a run. Having said all that, Emirates has doubled in size every three years since it started in 1985 and continues to expand at a fearsome rate today. New routes and services tend to happen suddenly. The BHX route was only announced 3/4 months before it started for instance, so don't come back to me in 2003 and say "I told you so".
And just yesterday I got this nugget about last week's 777 at MAN:
"It was an 'HD' 2 cabin version with a grand total of 434 passengers (We left 6 staff passengers behind. It also carried 17.6 tonnes of cargo. We had to offload 900kg because it was overweight.
Todays was a -300 ER which has a higher MTOW but it was quite severely restricted as takeoff was on 06L. It went out with just short of the magic 400, 398 actually. I think there was just over 18 tonnes of cargo on it as well."