Emirates is celebrating the 15th anniversary of its A380 superjumbo operations this week.

The first commercial service for the carrier’s double decker aircraft took place between Dubai and New York on 1 August, 2008.

Business Traveller was on the delivery flight for Emirates’ first A380 (between Airbus’ Hamburg plant and Dubai) a few days earlier, and our review can be seen here.

Fast forward to 2023 and the Gulf carrier now has 116 A380s in its fleet – in fact Emirates took delivery of a total of 123 superjumbos before production of the aircraft was halted, but a handful have since been retired.

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To mark the milestone Emirates has published a few facts and figures regarding its A380 fleet, including:

  • With a flight duration of under two hours 50 minutes each way, the carrier’s shortest A380 route is Dubai to Jeddah. The longest Emirates A380 service is Dubai-Auckland, with an estimated flight time of over 17 hours.
  • There are up to 24 Emirates crew on every A380 flight, which means every day in the UK, over 300 crew fly on A380s to serve passengers.
  • 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.
  • The Emirates A380 is typically powered by four Engine Alliance GP72000 engines, with over 290,000 lb of take-off thrust across the wing providing the horsepower equivalent of around 2,600 cars at 110hp each.

Emirates is in the midst of retrofitting 67 of its superjumbos with the carrier’s new premium economy cabin, as well as refurbished business and first class seats. The $2 billion project will also see around 50 B777 aircraft retrofitted, with work set to be completed by 2025.

First retrofitted Emirates A380 enters service

The anniversary comes at a time when the superjumbo has regained favour with the aviation industry.

Etihad recently returned the first of four A380s to service, and Lufthansa is also reactivating several superjumbos this summer.

Meanwhile start-up carrier Global Airlines has unveiled plans to operate several second-hand A380s on transatlantic services from next year.

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