Note: The following post was published in 2012, when an A380 landed in Sri Lanka for the first time ever. Since then, Emirates A380s have landed in Sri Lanka several times – including an emergency landing in 2015.
Making local aviation history, an Airbus A380-800 touched down in Sri Lanka today for the first time. The unexpected first arrival was A6-EDN, an Emirates A380, enroute from Sydney and Auckland. Apparently the A380 needed to refuel and selected Colombo instead of its previously planned Singapore stop – due to shorter total flying time on the way from Sydney to Dubai via Colombo.
Scheduled: EK414 AKL-SYD-DXB
Actual routing: AKL-SYD-CMB-DXB
Scheduled departure out of Auckland: 1840 Actual: 1848
Scheduled arrival into Sydney: 2005 Actual: 2022
Scheduled departure out of Sydney: 2145 Actual: 2320
Planned departure out of Singapore: 0545 for a 0900 arrival into Dubai – CANCELLED
Scheduled arrival into Colombo: 0235 Actual: 0433
Scheduled departure out of Colombo: 0540 Actual: 0526
Scheduled arrival into Dubai: 0825 Actual: 0819
The A380 had been delayed due to a bad weather situation at Sydney, which disrupted refueling and had to leave with an insufficient fuel load for reaching Dubai, in order to avoid the Sydney airport closure. With this, a stop at Colombo had been pre-planned to refuel. The photos below are taken by an spotter on the field at the time, and are copyrighted to the photographer. The A380 was handled at Colombo by SriLankan Airlines Ground Handling.