London — Malaysia Airlines Airbus SE A380s are flying fully loaded on trial services taking Muslim pilgrims to Saudi Arabia. This had prompted the carrier to announce that it will establish the operation as a new division as early as the end of 2018. The surprise success of the religious-charter service provides another fillip for the double decker, which won a new lease on life last week from Emirates, the plane’s biggest customer, with its first order in two years. The Asian company had been using two of its six A380s to transport people to Mecca for the year-round umra pilgrimage since November, CEO Izham Ismail said. The planes would eventually be used for the annual hajj gathering, one of the world’s biggest travel events. "I felt we needed to go to market fast," said Ismail. "We’ve been flying these charters daily to Jeddah or Medina and we fill them up every day." Airbus floated the prospect of killing the A380 if it failed to win more business for the plane from Emirates. It...

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