Emirates, the world’s largest A380 operator, is set to receive its milestone 100th A380 aircraft on November 3.
More than 80 million passengers have flown on the superjumbo in the nine years since it first joined Emirates’ fleet. Today, Emirates flies the A380 to over 45 destinations spanning Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas.
On the ground, Emirates has also worked closely with stakeholders to launch and operate an A380-dedicated airport concourse with 20 gates offering direct boarding from the airport lounge, and one of the world’s most advanced engineering centres which include six heavy maintenance hangars, paint shops, and the capability to completely overhaul an A380.
With its inaugural A380 flight in 2008, Emirates introduced several industry firsts including its A380 on-board lounge and first class shower spa.
The latest makeover of the on-board lounge, inspired by private yacht cabins, features a more social area for up to 26 guests. The lounge now has a larger 55 inch LCD screen with surround sound speakers.
With its many design touches including a heated floor, shower timer, a hairdryer, and spa products, Emirates’ onboard shower spa remains the standard to beat for inflight luxury. The airline recently introduced sustainable Voya spa products and developed moisturising pyjamas.
Emirates has invested close to US $1 billion on hardware to provide a more comfortable entertainment viewing experience. Over the years, in-seat screens have been made larger across all classes. The screen in first class has increased from 27 inches to 32 inches, the screens in business class from 17 inches to 20 inches, while screens on the latest A380 aircraft offer the industry’s largest in economy at 13.3 inches from its original 10 inch screen.
Little touches have also been introduced including USB ports for power and data in each seat as well as HDMI ports in premium classes to connect personal devices to the ice screen.
The entire A380 fleet has also been fitted with connectivity to allow for free 20MB of Wi-Fi throughout the cabin. In June last year, the first A380 was fitted with Live TV allowing passengers to watch news and sports matches live on board.
Since 2008, the A380 aircraft has been further enhanced to operate even longer routes. This has enabled Emirates to add more destinations to its A380 network, including the world’s longest A380 flight – a non-stop Dubai-Auckland service introduced in March 2016.