Emirates flies to more than 120 destinations in over 70 countries and has been fundamental in establishing Dubai as the Middle East’s commercial centre and aviation hub.
It operates more than 1,200 flights per week across six continents from its base at Dubai International airport.
Emirates was launched in 1985 with two leased aircraft from a rudimentary airport. Its phenomenal growth is reflected in the 170-plus aircraft in its rapidly expanding fleet – a mix of the latest wide-body Airbus and Boeing aircraft - as well as Dubai’s state-of-the-art Emirates Terminal 3, which is used solely for the airline's flights.
Its fleet is one of the youngest in the skies, with an average age of under 80 months, and this figure will fall further as it takes delivery of the 200-plus aircraft it has on order, worth almost $84 billion at list price. Emirates is the largest A380 operator, with 20-plus in the air and over 60 still to be delivered.
In 2011-2012, Emirates - which has over 15,000 cabin crew of more than 135 nationalities who speak over 55 different languages - carried 34 million passengers, an increase of 2.6 million on the previous year.
In addition, Emirates is a major player in the airfreight industry, carrying 1.8 million tonnes of cargo in 2011-2012, an increase of 1.7 per cent on the previous 12 months, amounting to 16.2 per cent of the airline’s total transport revenue.
Emirates is wholly-owned by the Government of Dubai, but the airline is run on a commercial basis and receives no financial support or protection. Competing against established giants of aviation allowed to operate in Dubai under the government’s unconditional open skies policy, Emirates has thrived and been profitable in all but its second year of trading.
Emirates is renowned for leading market trends - personal entertainment systems in all seats, as well as private first-class suites, are among its many notable firsts.
It was also the first airline to offer passengers a facility to use their mobile phones, bolstering its in-flight services which were already heralded for the popular ice entertainment and communications system.
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