Image: Emirates Airlines
Emirates is celebrating 15 years of operating its Airbus A380. Operating to 50 destinations worldwide, Emirates is the largest carrier of this iconic aircraft, with a total of 116 of the aircraft in fleet.
To celebrate 15 years of the Emirates A380, below are 15 fun facts about the aircraft:
1. Making History: When the A380 first began flying in 2008 many airports had to overhaul their runways and air bridge to accommodate, as the aircraft can weigh up to 575 tonnes – equivalent to two and a half times the weight of New York’s Statue of Liberty.
2. Largest Ever Capacity: With space for as many as 615 passengers in a two-class configuration, the A380 is the largest passenger aircraft ever made, with over 550 square meters of usable floor space across two full-length decks. There up to 24 Emirates crew on every A380 flight, which means every day in the UK, over 300 crew fly on A380s to serve guests.
3. Widebody Wings: The A380’s wingspan is a whopping 79.8 metres – which is as wide as 32 double-decker buses or an Olympic size swimming pool.
4. First Class Luxury: The A380 also offers some of the world’s best in-flight experiences, with signature amenities in First Class such as the Shower Spa, which features Emirates Private Collection Bvlgari amenity kits.
5. Suite Deal: There are 14 fully-enclosed Private Suites available in the A380’s First Class, where guests can enjoy an experience that gets as close as it comes to having their own private jet. You can select your own meal and bedtimes, with fine dining at any time. A short walk away is the on-board Shower Spa, as well as the ultimate Onboard Lounge.
6. High-End Gastronomy: 1,800 chefs create more than 12,000 recipes a year to cater for Emirates’ fleet including the A380, catering for more than 43 million dine-in guests travelling on flights every year.
7. Tasting the Stars: Emirates is the only commercial airline in the world officially serving Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot and Dom Pérignon onboard, with exclusive agreements in place until 2024. Moët Hennessy Champagnes have been available for Emirates passengers onboard for over 30 years, with First Class guests enjoying unlimited champagne and caviar during their flight.
8. Shortest and Longest: With a flight duration of under 2 hours 50 mins each way, the shortest route on the Emirates A380 is Dubai to Jeddah. The longest Emirates A380 route meanwhile is Dubai-Auckland, with an estimated flight time of over 17 hours.
9. A Whole Lot of Luggage: The Emirates A380 can carry up to 20,000 kilograms in baggage allowance. The A380’s vast cargo capacity also means the aircraft carry a host of items for export including flowers, fresh meat and fish, luxury goods, and pharmaceuticals.
10. Entertainment for Hours: Emirates’ award-winning ice inflight entertainment system allows passengers to choose from 6,500 channels of movies, TV shows, live sports and breaking news, alongside in-flight Wi-Fi. Films available on ice that were released when Emirates first launched the A380 in 2008 include The Dark Knight, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and Mamma Mia!.
11. In It For The Long Haul: The A380 is one of the longest-range aircraft in the world, capable of flying distances of up to 15,000 kilometres between take-off and landing.
12. Towering Above: With a cruising altitude of 43,100 feet, the A380 flies at over 15 times the height of the world’s tallest freestanding building, the Burj Khalifa and over 42,000ft above The Shard. The vertical tail fin stands at an impressive 24m tall, capturing attention wherever it goes.
13. Superpowered: The Emirates A380 is typically powered by four Engine Alliance GP72000 engines, with the over 290,000 lb of take-off thrust across the wing providing the horsepower equivalent of around 2,600 cars at 110hp each.
14. Soft landing: Each wheel from the 22 that make up the A380’s full landing gear supports around 26 tonnes of weight, equivalent to just over one and a half fully loaded articulated trucks. These allow it to complete a 180-degree turn within a width of 56.6m.
15. Overhauling: Emirates is in the process of carrying out a US$2 billion retrofit programme, fully refreshing cabins across 67 A380s to include the latest products and interiors across all cabins, including new Premium Economy seats. There is also a new livery, which was unveiled on the first A380 in March 2023. It takes over 4,000 litres of paint to cover the entire 38,000sq ft surface of the aircraft.