Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Emirates' first Airbus A380 has arrived in Dubai

Emirates A380 and cabin crewEarlier today, the first A380 in the Emirates fleet arrived at its home base in Dubai. An article on the UAE news website Xpress described the huge aircraft's historic arrival at Dubai International Airport: "The four-engine bird appeared magically from an overcast haze around 5:35pm and flew a graceful fly-past before banking to the east toward Sharjah. Eleven minutes later, the 469-seat aircraft landed, dwarfing other parked aircraft."

Yesterday Emirates took delivery of its first Airbus A-380 'superjumbo' aircraft in Hamburg, Germany. This aircraft is the first A380 among a total of 58 ordered from Airbus by Emirates.

The luxurious double-decker passenger cabin of the first Emirates A380 is configured in three classes, including a 14-seat First Class, and a 76-seat Business Class on the upper deck, with a 399-seat Economy Class below. This first aircraft will be deployed on the Dubai-New York route, the first commercial A380 service between the UAE and US. The inaugural flight is set to take place on August 1, 2008.

Emirates has also ordered two other versions of the A380. One will have a three-class, 517-seat configuration for medium range flights. The other, also intended for medium range service, will have 604 seat in two classes.

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 company says that this aircraft "will offer fuel economy as low as 3.1 litres per 100 passenger kms, better than that of Toyota’s acclaimed Prius hybrid passenger vehicle (which uses 4.4 litres per 100 vehicle kms). It also comfortably meets the current EU Stage Three and proposed Stage Four noise level standards."

According to an Emirates news release about the A380 delivery:
The aircraft was received by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman & Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, at an official handover ceremony attended by President of Emirates Airline Tim Clark; Airbus CEO Tom Enders; former Engine Alliance President, Bruce Hughes; Jürgen Thomas, the “founding father” of the A380; the 2,000 Hamburg Airbus staff directly involved in the production of the A380; 58 Emirates cabin crew, representing the number of A380s the Dubai based carrier has on firm order; international media, VIPs and other guests.

HH Sheikh Ahmed noted that while Emirates may not have been the first airline to receive the new generation aircraft, it was the first to place a firm order for it eight years ago.
Since Emirates is by far the biggest customer of the A380, the aircraft will eventually be available on most of the airline's international routes. The carrier notes that, in time, if a person is traveling on an A380 chances will be about one-in-four that they will be flying Emirates.

Emirates’ inaugural A380 commercial flight will depart Dubai International Airport at 11:00 local time on Friday, August 1, 2008. It will arrive at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport at 17:00 local time. According to Emirates, the fully booked flight will take between 12.5 and 13 hours, compared to 14 hours on a Boeing 777.

[Photo Source]