History: The story of Emirates begins during the mid-1980s, when Dubai flights were scaled back by Gulf Air. As a result Dubai's royal family decided to form a small airline, and in 1985 used two ancient Boeing 727s from the Dubai Royal Air Wing to provide two of the airline's first aircraft. It acquired much of its $10m start up capital from the Dubai government, which allowed it to lease a Boeing 737 from Pakistan Airline. First flights were from Dubai to Karachi, but within a year it was adding new destinations such as Colombo, Dhaka, Amman and Cairo to its route network.
More cash allowed the airline to expand both its fleet and its destinations rapidly, with two new Airbus A310 used for the first proper long haul flight to London Gatwick by 1987. Istanbul and then onto Frankfurt, came by 1988, and by 1989 the far east, including Bangkok and Singapore, then Hong Kong in 1991.
During the Gulf War Emirates carried on flying (one of the few Gulf airlines to do so) and picked up a lot of trade from other airlines.
By 1993 Emirates start its habit of forming close links with other airlines, which it then rapidly abandoned. Initially it had a co-operation agreements with Cyprus Airways, and then in 1994 with US Airways, Delta, and British Airways. These were abandoned by 2007.
Emirates Airlines was being hamstrung by lack of aircraft to take on new routes, and ordered seven new Boeing 777, which became the mainstay of the fleet when they arrived from 1996 onwards. These aircraft allowed Australia to be served for the first time, on a new service to Melbourne via Singapore.
In 2003 it received it's three new Airbus A340-500, which allowed flights to Sydney and New York JFK nonstop. This became a crucial plank of its strategy, of allowing passengers in Asia to bypass the usual European hubs of Heathrow or Frankfurt, and instead fly direct to the US from an Asian hub.
However it wanted to grow even bigger and stand out, so at the 2003 Paris Air Show, Emirates ordered 58 Airbus 380-800s, and 26 Boeing 777-300ERs. It followed this up in 2005 by ordering 42 Boeing 777s. Then in 2010 Emirates ordered an additional 32 A380s, bringing to a total of 90 superjumbos for the airline. With all this expansion, the airline needed more space at its Dubai hub. Dubai International Airport's Terminal 3 was built exclusively for the use of Emirates at a cost of US$4.5 billion.
On year later Emirates places the largest single order in Boeing’s history 50 777-300 ER aircraft. Basra, Geneva, Copenhagen, St Petersburg and Baghdad are added to the Emirates network, while a cargo-only service is launched to Erbil. Shanghai, Johannesburg, Munich and Rome are added to Emirates’ A380 network.
In 2013 double daily A380 services to Paris Charles de Gaulle and New York JFK are introduced.Concourse A opens at Dubai International, the world’s first dedicated A380 facility and home of the Emirates A380. London Heathrow becomes an all A380 route, following the launch of the fifth daily A380 service.
Qantas and Emirates partnership commences, offering 98 weekly flights between Dubai and Australia.
In 2014, Emirates launches flights to Boston, its 8th gateway in the USA. And it becomes the first airline to offer a scheduled A380 service at London Gatwick.
In 2016, Emirates introduces 6 new destinations in its global network Yangon, Hanoi, Yinchuan, Zhengzhou, Cebu and Clark.The airline ranks amongst the top ten airlines in terms of passengers flown, and has become the largest airline in the Middle East in terms of revenue, fleet size, and passengers carried.
Operations: Emirates has one of the most global airline route networks of the planet. Largely thanks to it's main hub in Dubai which is ideally located for the operations of many ultra long-haul routes which can be flown non-stop from Dubai. Some of the longest flights are to Seattle, Buenos Aires, Christchurch or Auckland taking at least 14 hours to complete. The centre of it's operation is naturally located in Dubai where 75% of the passengers will be connecting to a onward flight. The terminals are large and spacious operating 24h a day. As for destinations emirates reaches more than 150 destinations on 6 continents. It has a strong presence in the Middle East, India and the South East Asian countries where most of its passengers connect to. It flies to most European cities and non-stop from Dubai and offers good connections to Asia and as far to Australia and New Zealand.
It also flies to 12 destinations in the USA and 3 in South America. Africa has also popular destination served by Emirates and has many connections from Europe and the Middle East.
Fleet: The Emirates fleet consists entirely of wide-body aircraft. The Airline uses a smart but effective way to calculate market demands; first any new route is inaugurated with slightly smaller aircraft, such as the A330-200/300 or the B-777-200 and as demand increases the aircraft will gradually be replaced by either Boeing 777-300ER or Airbus A380-800. This last model being Emirates flagship plane which is the most popular aircraft to fly and which Emirates has achieved the best load factors with it's on board services and products to it's passengers. Emirates is the largest operator of the type in the world with 90 examples of the A380 with new planes arriving every couple of months to keep the fleet young.
Emirates plans to only use the Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A380 for its future fleet operations.
|Best Airline to connect to Asia, the Pacific and Australia/New Zealand from Europe.||Not part of any global alliance.|
|Convenient times of departure and short connecting times in Dubai.||In recent years, fares have gone up as the airline has grown.|
|Modern and reliable fleet of aircraft. Most modern planes used in the industry: A380-800 and Boeing 777-300.||No upper deck economy seating on A380 planes. (except high density routes in the middle east)|
|Good on-board entertainment. Charging sockets and wide LCD monitors with live flight video cameras.|
|Excellent on-board service. Multinational cabin crew.|
|Good baggage connection in Dubai|
|Online Check-in and seat allocation in advance (free).|
|Good baggage allowance. (Economy 30kg)|