Emirates is celebrating big things this coming months as the carrier will take delivery of their 100th Airbus A380 in the first week of November (November 3rd is currently scheduled).
When the A380 just came out in 2007 there was a huge hype around it and airlines lined up to receive their planes. Emirates took delivery of their first A380 on the 28th of July 2008 and has grown to the largest A380 fleet worldwide with currently 142 firm orders (44 deliveries outstanding).
Since then demand has slumped as airlines with less hub traffic found it increasingly difficult to fill seats on such a large plane and most carriers are now going back to models such as Boeing 777-300ER and the Airbus A350.
Emirates passenger business model is almost exclusively hub traffic similar to all the other Middle East based carriers so they find is much easier to fill aircraft are passengers are fed from so many different long- and medium haul destinations.
You can access Emirates press release about their 100th A380 here.
Emirates, the world’s largest A380 operator, is set to receive its milestone 100th A380 aircraft on 3rd November.
Over 80 million passengers have flown on the superjumbo in the nine years since it first joined Emirates’ modern fleet. Today, Emirates flies the A380 to over 45 destinations spanning Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. Everywhere it operates, the Emirates A380 attracts consumer demand for its industry-leading inflight experience in all cabin classes, and is welcomed by local economies as a contributor to tourism and visitor growth.
Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “The A380 has been, and continues to be hugely popular amongst our customers, many of whom deliberately plan their travel so that they can fly on it. But we don’t rest on our laurels and continually invest to enhance our product so as to continue offering our customers the best possible inflight experience. …
With its inaugural A380 flight in 2008, Emirates introduced several industry firsts including its iconic A380 Onboard Lounge and First Class Shower spa.
The Onboard Lounge remains one of the biggest draws of the aircraft to date, and is arguably the most popular spot at 40,000 feet. It has gone through several successive and subtle changes, such as the introduction of electric window blinds, before a brand new look was unveiled last July.
The latest makeover of the Onboard Lounge, inspired by private yacht cabins, features a more intimate and social area for up to 26 guests. The lounge now has a larger 55 inch LCD screen with surround sound speakers giving customers the latest flight information, or live TV broadcasts of the latest news or sports updates. …
There is also a short video they have prepared with some bullet points about the planes history:
Indeed Emirates has continuously worked on their product and at least tried to not fall behind. There are a few drawbacks I experienced with Emirates over the years, especially their frequent plane swaps to older aircraft on the last minute which obviously features a highly inferior cabin product. This isn’t as much of an issue anymore as it was in the past.
The other negative is Emirates Skywards which I consider one of the worst frequent flyer programs in the industry. It’s simply not rewarding enough to really focus on it. Chances for upgrades are pretty good though as long as you’re a Skywards Gold / Platinum customer.
While having a cooperation with Qantas that just got extended by another five years, there are no other Alliance-like relationships at this given moment. This month though there was a little bit of chatter in the UAE regarding possible cooperation between Etihad and Emirates in the far future.
Emirates is by far the largest customer for the A380 which probably saved Airbus from the worst. Singapore Airlines, the launch customer for the A380 ordered a total of 24 aircraft with 19 delivered to date. Compare that to Emirates number of 142 to get a sense of the magnitude of that number. Well, Dubai Airport is also huge (one of reasons why I don’t like it) and EK’s operations for example between Bangkok and Hong Kong as 5th Freedom Routes are also quite significant.
The A380 is still my favorite plane by far. I like the space provided in premium cabins such as large washrooms and Suites in First Class and how quiet the cabin is inflight. I wish the A380 was more popular than it is right now but the peak of this model is probably over. Only solution is to choose carriers with lots of hub travel but even Singapore Airlines has cut back and eliminated the A380 from their U.S. West Coast (LAX) route.