HAMBURG: It was a great day to celebrate for Emirates and for the Airbus A380 when Emirates took the delivery of its 100th Double-Decker plane, which comes complete with the airline’s latest first, business and economy-class products, plus the brand-new upper-deck bar.
The 100th aircraft was handed over to Emirates at Airbus’s Hamburg facility, and is painted in a special livery celebrating late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, a founding father of the United Arab Emirates.
This example will be configured with 14 suites, 76 seats in Business class seats and 426 seats in Economy seats – and of course, the on-board lounge than seems to be an Emirates signature touch. The plane will be powered by Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines
On that occasion Sheikh Ahmed Said, “For Emirates, the A380 has been a success. We’ve been able to utilise it at slot-constrained airports, as well as at regional and ‘secondary’ airports where we have grown passenger demand. Each time we deploy an A380 onto a route, it typically stimulates further traffic and demand as travellers are attracted by our flagship A380 experience. We remain committed to the programme and will work closely with Airbus and our partners to continually enhance our A380 product as we look ahead to receiving our remaining 42 aircraft on order.”
Emirates have deployed the A380 far and wide, and in different configurations depending on the market (be it a two-class unit, a three class with more capacity or a three class with a crew rest) and are used through their Dubai based network.
Currently, the fleet is deployed to 48 destinations in six continents.
Tom Enders of Airbus is happy about the 100th aircraft delivered and the 42 to come stating: “We are extremely proud of our long-standing relationship with Emirates, a partnership that has been integral to the A380 programme,”
“It is a source of immense satisfaction for everyone at Airbus that such a visionary airline has believed in the A380 from the beginning and chosen it as its flagship and the backbone of its operations. And, of course, it is always exciting to hear positive feedback from our customers and passengers about the aircraft, while associating it with Dubai’s success as the world’s most dynamic air transport hub.”
It’s a big celebration point in the A380 programme, and there is still plenty of work ahead. However, there needs to a look at the programme. Earlier this year, Airbus proposed the A380plus with airlines not exactly welcoming it with open arms and expecting Airbus to do more with the type.
And sadly, the order book for the Airbus A380 isn’t getting larger at this stage of the game. Hopefully others can look at Emirates example and see how the A380 works best for them and see if they can make it work better. But for now Emirates are flying a fleet of 100 Airbus A380s. That’s a lot of seats to fill.