Emirates recently took delivery of its first Airbus A380 ‘superjumbo’ at the planemaker’s new Jürgen Thomas A380 Delivery Centre. It was was received by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline and Group, at an official handover ceremony.
In July 2000 Emirates became the first airline to sign a firm commitment and place a deposit for the world’s biggest commercial aircraft, initially for seven aircraft, with five further options, collectively worth $1.5 billion. By November 2007 the carrier had placed firm orders for 58 A380s.
“We have stood firm on our commitment to the A380,” he said. “Our investment in the aircraft, including engines and inflight features, exceeds $32 billion, with $12 billion spent in Germany alone. We congratulate Airbus for having created the ‘greener, cleaner, quieter, smarter’ aircraft.”
The Emirates A380s will be powered by Engine Alliance GP7200 engines, enabling the carrier to save 500,000 litres of fuel per aircraft per year over any other engine alternative currently available.
The aircraft operated by Emirates will offer fuel economy as low as 3.1 litres per 100 passenger kilometers, better than that of Toyota’s acclaimed Prius hybrid passenger vehicle (which uses 4.4 litres per 100 vehicle kilometres). It also comfortably meets the current EU Stage Three and proposed Stage Four noise level standards.
Emirates also unveiled its onboard lounge for business and first class passengers.
Cabin crew operating the Emirates A380s have undergone intensive training on the aircraft at the new Emirates Crew Training College in Dubai, including cabin service assistants who will be responsible for the shower spas.
The delivery of this aircraft takes the Emirates fleet to 118, including 108 passenger aircraft and 10 freighters.
The 58 A380s are set to play an integral role in the carrier’s network expansion, eventually serving all the major cities in the Emirates’ network. This first aircraft will be deployed on the Dubai-New York route, marking the first commercial A380 service to the UAE and US.
Emirates is due to receive five superjumbos in the current financial year, which ends March 31, 2009, and receive the remaining 53 by June 2013. The first five 489 seat, long range aircraft will be deployed on some of the carrier’s busiest routes including New York, London Heathrow (December 1), Sydney and Auckland (February 1, 2009).
Take a hot shower
First class passengers can now shower on board the airline’s A380 which is like being in a five star hotel only 43,000 feet above sea level.
Spread over two levels, the whole of the upper deck is dedicated to premium class passengers. Towards the front are 14 flat bed, massage equipped private suites. Remote controlled doors, a work desk, an electrically controlled mini-bar and the most advanced in-flight entertainment system available to travellers are all part of the experience.
In business class all seats have aisle access and become fully-flat beds. Economy has more generous seats, wider aisles and gourmet chef prepared, says the airline.
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