Category Archives: Emirates Airline

Emirates will reduce its schedule at Dubai for runway work, A380 coming to Boston and Glasgow, will begin retiring its older Boeing 777s

Emirates Airline Airbus A380-861 A6-EDG (msn 023) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 945264.

Emirates has announced adjustments to its operational schedules in 2019 to minimize the impact of the closure of Dubai International Airport’s Southern Runway in April and May 2019, and to respond to global travel demand trends. The airline also outlined its fleet plans for the year.

Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, said: “At Emirates, we pride ourselves on being a customer-focused airline with a commercially-driven business model. We invest in a modern and efficient aircraft fleet so we can offer industry-leading comforts to our customers, and we are agile in deploying our aircraft to destinations where it best serves customer demand.

“The changes we are implementing to our network schedules in 2019 are in line with this approach, taking into consideration global market dynamics and operational limitations including the maintenance work on Dubai Airport’s Southern Runway. Through the year, we will continue to keep a close watch on global markets and will maintain our flexibility to optimise the usage of our aircraft assets.”

A significant number of scheduled Emirates flights will be impacted by the closure of Dubai International Airport’s Southern Runway for maintenance work between April 16 and May 30, 2019.

Given the limitations around operating flights using a single runway at its hub, many Emirates flights will be cancelled, re-timed or have the operating aircraft changed in order to reduce impact on customers. This will result in up to 48 Emirates aircraft not being utilised, with a 25% reduction in the overall number of flights operated by the airline during the 45-day period.

2019 network adjustments

Emirates will deploy additional flights to several markets in Africa starting in June 2019. The additional services will satisfy the increased demand that the airline has witnessed in these markets, and will offer customers even more seamless connections between these destinations and Emirates’ global network through Dubai. Cities in Africa that will be served by additional Emirates flights include:

  • Casablanca, Morocco: Emirates will operate a second daily flight starting  June 1, 2019 to Casablanca. The service will be operated by Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER aircraft which will complement the airline’s existing daily Airbus A380 flight.
  • Abuja, Nigeria: Three additional flights will be operated every week on Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to Abuja starting June 1, 2019 increasing the frequency to the Nigerian city to a daily service.
  • Accra, Ghana: Emirates will also augment its current flight frequency to the Ghanaian capital with four additional Boeing 777-300ER flights a week bringing Emirates’ total service to 11 weekly flights to Accra effective June 2, 2019.
  • Conakry, Guinea and Dakar, Senegal: The capitals of Guinea and Senegal will be serviced by one additional linked flight every week starting June 1, 2019 on Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

Multiple destinations across Europe will also be served by additional Emirates flights during peak travel season leading up to and lasting through the summer of 2019. These destinations include:

  • Athens, Greece: Emirates will deploy a second daily flight to Athens between March 31 and October 26, 2019. The service will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft between March 31 and April 15, 2019 and between October 1 and October 26, 2019. During the busy summer months from May 31 to September 31, Emirates will deploy its Airbus A380 aircraft to meet additional demand. Emirates will not operate the second daily flight during the period of closure of Dubai Airport’s Southern Runway (April 16 – May 30, 2019).
  • Rome, Italy: The Italian capital will be served by three daily Emirates flights between March 31 and October 26, 2019. The third additional flight, operated with a Boeing 777-300ER, will be suspended during the Dubai Airport Southern Runway closure.
  • Stockholm, Sweden: Emirates will provide additional capacity to Sweden during July and August 2019 with a double daily service on its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. This will allow additional passengers to travel to and from the Swedish capital during the peak summer season.
  • Zagreb, Croatia: As part of the strategic partnership between Emirates and flydubai, Emirates will once again begin operating its Boeing 777-300ER daily to Zagreb from March 31 until October 26, 2019. The daily service will be reduced to four times a week during the Dubai Airport Southern Runway closure.

In order to meet increased seasonal passenger demand Emirates will be introducing its Airbus A380 aircraft to destinations including:

  • Boston, USA: Emirates’ customers travelling to Boston will be able to experience the world’s largest commercial aircraft famed for its Onboard Lounge accessible to First and Business Class passengers as well as the Onboard Shower Spas for First Class customers. Emirates’ A380 will operate to Boston between June 1 and September 30, 2019 and between December 1, 2019 and January 31, 2020 to accommodate the increased seasonal demand in travel to the US East Coast.
  • Glasgow, UK: Emirates will fly its flagship A380 double-decker aircraft to Scotland for the first time between April 16 and May 31, 2019. The Emirates A380 daily service, with a total capacity of 489 seats, will replace the double daily Boeing 777-300ER service during the Dubai Airport Runway closure. From June 1, 2019 until September 30, 2019, Emirates will resume operating a double-daily service to Glasgow with one daily Boeing 777-300ER and one Airbus A380, offering additional capacity to meet increased travel demand during the summer season.

Emirates will also adjust its services into South America to optimise fleet utilization. From  June 1, 2019, the airline will deploy its newly refurbished two-class Boeing 777-200LR on its daily service from Dubai to Rio de Janeiro.  Offering wider Business Class seats laid out in 2-2-2 format and refreshed seats in Economy Class, this service will continue from Rio de Janeiro to the Argentinian capital city of Buenos Aires four times a week, and on the remaining three days it will operate onwards to Santiago, Chile.

With this change, Emirates will suspend its linked flight from Dubai to Santiago via Sao Paulo. Sao Paulo will continue to be served with a daily non-stop Airbus A380 service to and from Dubai.

With a view to providing more efficient and direct connection options for customers travelling to and from Australia, Emirates will suspend flights EK 418/419 between Bangkok and Sydney from  June 1, 2019. Emirates will continue to serve Sydney with three flights a day nonstop to Dubai, and Emirates’ customers wishing to travel between Bangkok and Sydney will have flight choices provided by Emirates’ partner Qantas.

Effective March 31, 2019, Emirates will suspend EK 424/425 and serve Perth with a once daily Airbus A380 service nonstop from Dubai. Emirates customers travelling from Perth will continue to enjoy rapid two-way connections through Dubai to over 38 destinations in Europe, and a further 16 cities in Europe via Emirates’ codeshare partner flydubai. Customers will also be able to enjoy a seamless Emirates A380 experience between Perth and close to 20 destinations in Europe.

Operating a modern aircraft fleet

Emirates is committed to operating one of the youngest aircraft fleets in the international aviation industry offering unparalleled customer experience and a superior level of safety combined with better fuel efficiency.

During the financial year 2019/20, Emirates will take delivery of six new Airbus A380 aircraft. At the same time, the airline will be renewing its fleet by retiring seven older Boeing 777 aircraft. Emirates took delivery of its last Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in November 2018 and will commence taking deliveries of the next generation Boeing 777Xs in 2020.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Emirates Airline Airbus A380-861 A6-EDG (msn 023) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 945264.

Emirates aircraft slide show:

Advertisements

Emirates develops innovative application to reduce aircraft turnaround delays at Dubai hub

Emirates passengers travelling from or transiting through Dubai International Airport (DXB) can expect fewer instances of delays associated with aircraft turnaround thanks to a new innovative application built in-house by Emirates called the Hub Monitor.

Hub Monitor is being used by Emirates’ operational staff in Dubai to share and monitor real time information on the various activities that are carried out to prepare an aircraft for departure. Through its monitoring and proactive alerting system, the application helps avoid delays and improve on-time performance ultimately leading to a better passenger experience.

Adel Al Redha, Emirates Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer said: “The Hub Monitor application is a unique and innovative tool developed in line with our vision to continuously re-examine our processes and introduce smart and more efficient means to improve our operations resulting in better passenger experience. Our Operations team in coordination with IT have led the development of the hub monitoring system in a record time of five months, building on an existing solution that was already developed by Emirates Engineering. The team examining the various functions of Hub Monitor in real time are working to roll out further modules and the next module will be implemented later this month.”

Emirates Aircraft Turnaround in Dubai

Emirates is the world’s largest international airline operating a fleet of 270 modern all wide-body fleet of Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft.  Every day around 255 Emirates flights depart from Dubai to destinations across six continents. Flights range in duration from less than an hour to over 17 hours. In order to avoid flight delays and inconvenience to passengers, it is critically important to efficiently turnaround the aircraft arriving in Dubai and prepare them for their next departure without compromising on quality or safety.

It currently takes about 105 minutes to turnaround the Emirates A380, the world’s largest commercial passenger jet, and about 90 minutes to prepare the Boeing 777 aircraft for departure at Emirates’ hub in Dubai.

There are a number of activities involved in the aircraft turnaround process. Some of these include a complete cleaning of aircraft interiors, water and toilet servicing, flight catering and loading meals for passengers, servicing the aircraft Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), refuelling the aircraft, maintenance checks, and loading passenger luggage and cargo. A delay in any one of these activities can have a cumulative impact on operations.

Hub Monitor

With Hub Monitor, cross-functional teams from departments including Engineering, Network Control, Airport Services, Flight Operations, and dnata Operations keep track of the turnaround activities on a real time basis. The application also triggers alerts to operational staff when there is a delay or deviation to any above or below wing activity against a pre-set Precision Timing Schedule (PTS). These pre-emptive alerts allow Emirates’ teams to identify and resolve the root cause of any potential delays. In fact, Hub Monitor has already demonstrated its potential, versatility and scalability and has been chosen as the platform for some of Emirates’ key internal initiatives on disruption and fulfilment.

Hub Monitor integrates data coming in from a number of internal platforms and real-time aircraft downlinks. It then provides the consolidated data through a single view interface to relevant internal stakeholders. Hub Monitor is also mobile enabled, meaning staff deployed on the aircraft, ramp and in other remote areas can also easily access the information.

The application provides information on all Emirates’ aircraft in Dubai, allowing teams the ability to proactively recalibrate and plan their activities to minimise the impact of any unavoidable or unforeseen delays. Initial results since the application was deployed in August indicate that Hub Monitor has the potential to bring about a significant delay reduction at Emirates’ Dubai hub every year.

Emirates and South African Airways to expand strategic partnership with enhanced codeshare agreement, operates A380 to Glasgow

Emirates, the world’s largest international airline and South African Airways (SAA), the South African flag carrier, are expanding their strategic cooperation with enhancements to its codeshare agreement, opening up new destinations for both Emirates and SAA customers.

Pending governmental approval, SAA and Emirates have signed an enhanced commercial partnership which will see the relationship between the two carriers grow and strengthen their already successful codeshare agreement signed in 1997, across a wide spectrum of commercial and customer touch points.

In 2017/18, the codeshare agreement between Emirates and SAA saw approximately 90,000 passengers benefit from seamless travel and greater connectivity, in this year alone. Emirates launched operations to South Africa in 1995 with flights between Dubai and Johannesburg. The relationship between SAA and Emirates spans over 20 years dating back to June 1997 with the signing of Emirates’ first ever codeshare agreement, whereby the SAA code started to appear on flights operated by Emirates to Dubai.

SAA is able to offer its customers seats on the eight daily flights operated by Emirates between South Africa and Dubai (four daily flights from Johannesburg including its iconic A380 aircraft, three daily flights from Cape Town and one daily flight from Durban).

The enhanced agreement means the codeshare will be expanded across both carriers’ networks.

The two airlines will work towards bringing more synergies in their respective route network, customer touch points, cargo services and flight schedules to enable seamless connectivity and enhance passenger flows. Connectivity will be improved by adjusting connecting times through Johannesburg, with a special focus on popular regional markets.

Included in the new agreement are plans to enhance the frequent flyer programmes, Emirates’ Skywards and Voyager by SAA. Emirates became a Voyager airline partner in 2000, which means Voyager members are able to earn and redeem Miles on flights operated by Emirates; and similarly, Skywards members are able to earn and redeem Miles on SAA-operated flights.

The airlines will separately work on other areas of bilateral cooperation and an exchange of best practices across multiple airline functions.

Emirates in South Africa

Emirates launched services in South Africa in 1995 with flights to Johannesburg, and has since grown its footprint in the country to Cape Town and Durban. Emirates operates eight daily flights to South Africa (four to Johannesburg, three to Cape Town and one to Durban) including its iconic A380 to Johannesburg.

A 2016 study quantifying Emirates’ impact on the South African economy showed the Emirates Group’s total economic contribution amounted to US$417 million/ZAR 5.81 billion, supporting 12,989 jobs in FY 2014/15. Emirates has since grown its seat capacity to South Africa from 2,572 to 3,101 daily seats, increasing Emirates’ impact on the economy and employment further.

Emirates carries business and leisure travellers from around the world to ‘destination South Africa’ via its Dubai hub. In FY 2017/18, Emirates carried over 1.7 million passengers to and from its three points in South Africa, and over 61,800 tonnes of high value cargo – including seafood, fruits and vegetables, fresh and frozen meats, wine, pharmaceuticals and gold. Over 1,000 South African nationals are employed by the Emirates Group, including over 250 pilots and 500 cabin crew.

In other news, Emirates has announced it will introduce a daily Airbus A380 service for a temporary period between Glasgow and Dubai from April 16, 2019.  It will be the first time the popular double decker aircraft will operate on a scheduled basis to Scotland.

The larger capacity A380 will replace Emirates’ current twice daily Boeing 777 service between Glasgow and Dubai from April 16 until May 31, 2019, during which time Dubai Airports plan to close Dubai International’s (DXB) southern runway for upgrade works, and the single runway operations require airlines to reduce and adjust their operating schedules. The deployment of the A380 is to minimise the reduction of Emirates’ capacity from Glasgow to Dubai and beyond during this period.

The A380 flight will depart Dubai at 1450 hrs and arrive in Glasgow at 1945 hrs, while the return flight will leave Glasgow at 2130 hrs and land in Dubai at 0755 hrs the next morning.

From  June 1 until September 30, 2019, the double daily service will be reinstated on the route, with the A380 operating on the first flight of the day, and a Boeing 777 on the second, increasing capacity on the route during this period to meet seasonal summer demand.

Thereafter, the service will revert back to a twice daily Boeing 777 operation. Launched in October this year, Emirates also offers a daily service to Edinburgh, bringing to three the number of daily flights between Scotland and Dubai.

The Emirates A380 will have a three class cabin configuration, offering 14 private suites in First Class, 76 lie flat seats in Business Class, and 399 spacious seats in Economy Class. Customers travelling to and from Glasgow on the A380 can look forward to more space across all classes, while enjoying Emirates’ famed hospitality and service from its multi-national cabin crew, award winning entertainment system, ice, with over 3500 channels of on demand audio and visual entertainment, Wi-Fi and complimentary meals and beverages.

First Class customers will have exclusive access to an on-board shower spa, while First and Business Class customers will enjoy the on-board lounge, where they can socialise with other travellers. As with all Emirates’ flights, customers get a generous baggage allowance, with 50kg for First Class, 40kg for Business Class and up to 35kg for Economy Class passengers.

Emirates first operated the A380 to Glasgow as a one off in April 2014, when the airline celebrated 10 years of successful operations to the city. This year also marks the 10th year of Emirates’ A380 operations. With an A380 fleet of 108, and with 54 additional aircraft on order, Emirates is the largest operator of A380s in the world.

Finally, Emirates, the main sponsor of Spanish football club, Real Madrid, has unveiled a new decal featuring action images of some of the club’s top players on one of its Airbus A380 aircraft.

The new decal was created to mark the occasion of Real Madrid’s charter flight on an Emirates A380 from Madrid to Abu Dhabi today, where the team in their capacity as current European champions will compete with football club champions from other continents.

The bespoke decal features first team players Marcelo, Luka Modrić, Sergio Ramos, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, and covers over 200 square metres on each side of the double decker aircraft. A time lapse video of the decal being placed onto the A380 can be viewed here.

Decals featuring Real Madrid players first appeared on an Emirates A380 in 2015, and has since become an eye-catching representation of the airline’s association with the club. Emirates has been the Official Main Sponsor of Real Madrid since 2013 with Fly Emirates branding prominently displayed on the players’ kits.

The decal will remain on the aircraft for six months and fans can catch the aircraft as it traverses the globe with scheduled services planned to Washington, Nice, Mauritius, London Gatwick and Sao Paulo.

Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the double-decker A380 aircraft, with 108 in service, and another 54 pending delivery. The aircraft is deployed to about 50 destinations across six continents around Emirates global network. Customers travelling to and from Spain, have the opportunity to experience the Emirates A380 on one of the double daily services to both Madrid and Barcelona.

All photos by Emirates.

Emirates takes delivery of its last Boeing 777-300ER aircraft

Emirates celebrated an important fleet milestone with the delivery of the final Boeing 777-300ER aircraft (A6-EQP) on its order books.
A6-EQP is the 190th Boeing 777 aircraft to be delivered to Emirates, the world’s largest operator of Boeing 777 aircraft and also the only airline in the world to have operated all the six variants of the Boeing 777 family.
One of out every eight 777 aircraft ever manufactured by Boeing has been delivered to Emirates.
Emirates will also be one of the first airlines in the world to fly the two next generation models- the Boeing 777-8 and 777-9.

It was also the 146th delivery of a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to Emirates. The airline welcomed the first Boeing 777-300ER aircraft into its fleet in March 2005 and over the last 13 years, the 777-300ER has become the backbone of Emirates’ fleet operating currently to over 119 destinations across the airline’s global network. Emirates has operated one out of every five Boeing 777-300ER aircraft produced to date and the average age of a Boeing 777-3000ER in Emirates’ fleet is a mere 6.5 years.

Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline said: “The Boeing 777-300ER has been a cornerstone of Emirates’ success story as the world’s largest international airline. The aircraft’s efficiency, range and payload capabilities have enabled us to connect our customers across six continents to and through Dubai, and offer them a flight experience that is second to none. With 140 of these aircraft in our fleet, the Boeing 777-300ER will continue to play an integral role in our operations and facilitating global tourism and trade opportunities in the years to come.”

On the partnership with Boeing, Sir Tim said: “We’ve worked closely with Boeing on the 777 program over the last three decades, and we will build on this partnership as we start taking delivery of the 777-8 and 777-9 aircraft from 2020.”

Emirates’ Boeing 777 fleet has carried close to 350 million passengers on more than 1.28 million flights and covered over 6.6 billion kilometres since 1996. That’s the equivalent of flying almost 8600 times to the moon and back.

Setting the standards for passenger experience and safety, Emirates has continually invested in its onboard product and services. The airline recently unveiled brand new cabins for its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft including the game-changing fully-enclosed First Class private suites as well as newly-designed seats and improved inflight entertainment systems for Business and Economy class cabins. Emirates has also started a programme to reconfigure its 10 Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, installing new wider Business Class seats as well as a completely refreshed Economy Class for improved passenger comfort.

Since 2009, Emirates has also been operating the Boeing 777-F dedicated freighter aircraft to facilitate global trade. With a capacity of over 100 tonnes per flight, Emirates’ fleet of 13 Boeing 777-Fs move a variety of cargo, including heavy and outsized shipments, pharmaceuticals, flowers and race horses on scheduled weekly flights to over 40 global destinations. In 2017, Emirates’ Boeing 777-F aircraft also executed more than 370 charter flights over and above regular operations.

Emirates operates one of the youngest aircraft fleets in the world with an average aircraft age of 5.87 years, a figure that is much lower than the accepted norm in the aviation industry. The airline pursues an ambitious fleet renewal strategy by retiring older aircraft and introducing newer and more advanced aircraft leading to more efficient operations.

From 2020, the airline will start taking delivery of 35 Boeing 777-8s and 115 Boeing 777-9s. These next generation aircraft will have a more fuel efficient design and will feature larger windows, increased cabin pressure and humidity, higher ceilings, wider cabin and an advanced inflight entertainment system contributing to a superior customer experience.

Video:

Milestones of the Emirates Boeing 777 program

June 1996 Emirates receives delivery of its first Boeing 777 aircraft A6-EMD, a Boeing 777-200 classic
June 2003 Emirates announces order for 26 Boeing 777-300ERs at the 2003 Paris Air Show, worth US$ 5.6 billion
March 2005 Emirates receives its first Boeing 777-300 ER
2009 Emirates becomes the world’s largest operator of the Boeing 777 aircraft
November 2013 Emirates makes aviation history with a record-breaking order for 150 Boeing 777x aircraft
October 2014 Emirates receives its 100th Boeing 777-300ER aircraft
September 2015 Emirates receives its 150th Boeing 777 aircraft
November 2016 Emirates starts taking delivery of its new generation Boeing 777-300ER with enhanced Business Class seats and improved environmental performance
November 2017

 

Emirates unveils brand new cabins for its Boeing 777 fleet including the Game-changing, fully enclosed private suites in First Class

Emirates adds additional Airbus A380 service between Johannesburg and Dubai

Emirates Airline Airbus A380-861 A6-EUB (msn 213) (Expo 2020 Dubai UAE) (Paris Saint-Germain) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 944670.

Emirates introduced an additional Airbus A380 service to Johannesburg (O.R. Tambo International Airport), effective December 1, 2018, replacing the previous Boeing 777 aircraft on the route. EK762 (JNB-DXB) and EK761 (DXB-JNB) are now served by the flagship A380 aircraft.

This change in aircraft supports growing demand in South Africa, a 14% increase in seat capacity will be as a direct result of deployment of the second A380 to Johannesburg. The Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft serving the Dubai-Johannesburg route will offer a total of 519 seats in a three-class configuration, with 429 spacious seats in Economy Class, 76 fully flat-bed seats in Business Class and 14 First Class Private Suites.

Upcoming festive season travel between the two global transit hubs is expected to be especially strong, building on over 700,000 customers who flew with the airline before November. With Emirates, customers from Johannesburg can enjoy a seamless A380 experience to their most popular destinations via Dubai, including London, Moscow, New York and Bangkok. All four daily Emirates flights between Johannesburg and Dubai operate as codeshare flights with partner South African Airways.

Emirates operates the world’s largest fleet of Airbus A380s, with 107 of the aircraft currently in service and 55 pending delivery in this, the tenth year of Emirates’ A380 operations. The deployment of the double-decker aircraft on routes to and from South Africa gives even more regional travellers the chance to experience the aircraft’s industry-leading comforts. These include private suites and Shower Spas in its First Class cabin, while Business Class customers can enjoy the popular onboard lounge and lie-flat beds.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Emirates): Emirates Airline Airbus A380-861 A6-EUB (msn 213) (Expo 2020 Dubai UAE) (Paris Saint-Germain) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 944670.

Emirates aircraft slide show:

x

 

UAE carriers fly a formation in Dubai to celebrate the legacy of Sheikh Zayed

Emirates, Etihad, flydubai, Air Arabia and Al Fursan took to the skies in unison today to celebrate the UAE’s 47th National Day, as well as commemorate the legacy and values of HH Sheikh Zayed. The late founding father of the UAE dedicated his life and leadership to unify and shape a better collective future for the nation, and today’s formation flight is a soaring display of unity as all four carriers showcase the UAE’s aviation success story to the nation and world.

The spectacular flypast – a world-first and a UAE civil aviation milestone – involved over 11 aircraft: a flydubai Boeing 737 MAX 8 (Zayed 1), an Air Arabia Airbus A320 (Zayed 2), an Etihad Airways Airbus A380 (Zayed 3) and an Emirates Airline Airbus A380 (Zayed 4), as well as seven Al Fursan aerobatic display jets from the UAE Air Force. All of the commercial aircraft within the formation were emblazoned with ‘Year of Zayed’ decals. This is also the first time this unique combination of aircraft types fly in formation.

The aircraft were proudly commanded by Captain Adrian Smith from flydubai, Captain Nadhem Al Hamad from Air Arabia, Captain Richard Dyson from Etihad Airways and Captain Abbas Shaban from Emirates Airline. The Al Fursan team was led by Lieutenant Colonel Nasser Al Obaidli.

Formation and flight path

The carefully choreographed ‘stair step’ aerial formation began this afternoon at 1300 hrs, when the aircraft took-off from Dubai World Central Al Maktoum International Airport. Once all of the aircraft established their holding positions with altitudes ranging from 2,000 feet to 5,000 feet with a 1,000 foot vertical separation, the formation commenced. Over the skies of Ras Al Khaimah, each aircraft adjusted its speed and turned to achieve a trail formation. The aircraft then descended into their positions and vertical separation was reduced to 300 feet.

 

Flying first in the ‘Year of Zayed’ formation was flydubai, cruising at an altitude of 1,000 feet and an airspeed of 210 knots, closely followed by Air Arabia, in line astern and stepped up at an altitude of 1,300 feet. Next came the Etihad Airbus A380 double-decker, trailing the first two aircraft  and flying at 1,600 feet, stepped up by the Emirates Airbus A380 flying at the highest altitude at 1,900 feet to make room for the seven Al Fursan jets set in an arrow formation ready to release their signature smoke trails in the colours of the UAE flag.

Together, the stunning UAE carrier formation flew with impressive precision across the coastline of the UAE, starting at Ras Al Khaimah, continuing on to Um Al Quwain and Ajman, and then passing landmarks including the Sharjah Corniche, Dubai’s Palm and World Islands with the Burj Khalifa skyline in the background, and finally crossing the Abu Dhabi Corniche and the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, where all aircraft then split and continued on to their respective airports for landing.

Executive remarks

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group, and Chairman of flydubai said: “His Highness Sheikh Zayed was a true pioneer and one of the most inspirational leaders of our time. It is fitting that on UAE National Day, such a spectacular aerial display be done to honour his legacy. This ground-breaking initiative showcases how unity and a shared vision can achieve outstanding results.  I am immensely proud of all of the teams across every airline, the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, and all the organisations who came together to plan and execute today’s unprecedented flight formation which will go down as an extraordinary moment for UAE civil aviation.”

His Excellency Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Chairman of Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Today our nation celebrates the 47th National Day, a day we celebrate the achievement of the vision of our founding father His Highness Sheikh Zayed to unite the seven Emirates. In the Year of Zayed, we are very proud to witness this historic flight formation which resembles the vision set forth by our founding father. Our Emirati carriers flying across the seven Emirates in this formation represents the spirit of our union, and demonstrates the economic progress our nation and aviation sector achieved in less than half a century through connecting over a 100 million travellers annually to 500 destinations globally.”

Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia said: “It gives us a great honour to be part of this remarkable formation display dedicated to the Year of Zayed and while celebrating the UAE’s National Day.  This unique flight formation display reflects the unity, leadership and the forward vision of the UAE. We thank all the airlines, Al Fursan and the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority for working together to achieve such a successful and first of its kind flight display that will now be added to the UAE’s pioneering journey in aviation.”

His Excellency Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the GCAA said: “In this historical formation flight, The GCAA ensured that communication and coordination was carried out between all pertinent authorities and stake holders to ensure that flight details were established and the route flown would avoid all departure and arrival lanes, thereby guaranteeing uninterrupted routine airport operations. This fly past was continuously controlled by Air Traffic Control, tracked by surveillance radar and communicated by two-way radio communication for any advisory and instruction. In addition, the GCAA has further imposed certain requirements for assessment and approval of the entire fly past exercise which includes routing, separation, weather minima, aircraft limitation and trials so that no stone is left unturned.”

Precision planning and co-ordination

While the flawlessly executed aerial formation flight may appear to be a straightforward assignment, the mission was under planning for more than five months due to the complexity of the formation and the number of aircraft involved. With a primary focus on flight safety, the meticulous technical planning and co-ordination involved all four airlines and multiple regulatory stakeholders.

The success of the formation flight was made possible by the collaboration between the pilots and flight operation managers from each airline, the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), UAE Ministry of Defence, air traffic controllers, the Abu Dhabi Department of Transportation and Civil Aviation Authorities from other UAE emirates, amongst others.

All stakeholders worked together to identify suitable locations for the flight formation patterns, taking into account air traffic, areas overflown, route planning, visibility, and potential wind and weather conditions. The entire formation route was protected from any passing traffic within a Temporary Restricted Area controlled by the GCAA. Meetings were held to establish each airline’s position within the formation and precise visual reference points were drawn up so each aircraft could safely join and hold their plotted position. In addition, all pilots went through rigorous flight simulation exercises.

A rehearsal flight was done on November 8, 2018 to ensure that the formation positions worked appropriately with the Al Fursan air display team. The test-run ‘Year of Zayed’ formation also included two helicopters and an Aero L-39 Albatross chase plane from the Latvian based Baltic Bees aerobatic display team to film every detail and aspect of the formation.

The “Year of Zayed” is a tribute to HH Sheikh Zayed’s remarkable legacy which has left a lasting imprint on the UAE.  The inspirational leader created a vision of prosperity, determination and tolerance – attributes that remain strongly embedded in UAE culture and across all UAE aviation organisations.

All photos by the airlines.

Video:

Emirates Group announces half-year performance for 2018-19

Emirates Airline Airbus A380-861 A6-EDD (msn 020) JFK (Fred Freketic). Image: 944350.

  • Group: Revenue up 10% to AED 54.4 billion (US$14.8 billion), and profit of AED 1.1 billion (US$296 million), down 53%. Results impacted by significant increase in fuel cost, unfavourable currency movements, and one-time transaction in dnata.
  • Emirates: Revenue up 10% to AED 48.9 billion (US$13.3 billion), and profit decline of 86% to AED 226 million (US$62 million). 30.1 million passengers carried, up 3%, on overall capacity expansion of 3%. Dubai’s attraction as a destination remains strong with the airline carrying 9% more customers to its hub city.
  • dnata: Revenue up 11% to AED 7.0 billion (US$1.9 billion), profit up 31% to AED 861 million (US$235 million) includes gain of AED 320 million from one-time transaction. Without this transaction, the profit recorded would be down 18% compared to last year. 350,052 aircraft handled, up 6%, 1.5 million tonnes of cargo handled, up 2%.

The Emirates Group has announced its half-year results for 2018-19. The Group saw steady revenue growth compared to the same period last year, however profits were impacted by the significant rise in oil prices, and unfavourable currency movements in certain markets, amidst other challenges for the airline and travel industry.

The Emirates Group revenue was AED 54.4 billion (US$ 14.8 billion) for the first six months of its 2018-19 financial year, up 10% from AED 49.4 billion (US$ 13.5 billion) during the same period last year.

Profitability was down 53% compared to the same period last year, with the Group reporting a 2018-19 half-year net profit of AED 1.1 billion (US$296 million). The profit erosion was primarily due to the significant increase in fuel prices of 37% compared to the same period last year, as well as the negative impact of currencies in certain markets.

The Group’s cash position on September 30, 2018 was at AED 21.5 billion (US$ 5.9 billion), compared to AED 25.4 billion (US$6.9 billion) as at 31st March 2018.

His Highness (HH) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group said: “Emirates and dnata grew steadily in the first half of 2018-19. Demand for our high quality products and services remained healthy, as we won new and return customers across our businesses and this is reflected in our revenue performance. However, the high fuel cost as well as currency devaluations in markets like India, Brazil, Angola and Iran, wiped approximately AED 4.6 billion from our profits.

“We are proactively managing the myriad challenges faced by the airline and travel industry, including the relentless downward pressure on yields, and uncertain economic and political realities in our region and in other parts of the world. We are keeping a tight rein on controllable costs and will continue to drive efficiency improvement through the implementation of new technology and business processes.

“The next six months will be tough, but the Emirates Group’s foundations remain strong. I’m pleased to note that our home and hub in Dubai continues to attract travel demand, as the airline saw 9% more customers enjoying Dubai as a destination in the first half of 2018-19 compared to the same period last year. We expect this demand to remain healthy as new attractions come online and the city gears up for Dubai Expo 2020. Moving forward we are firmly focussed on sustaining our business. We will do this by being agile to capitalise on opportunities, and investing to serve our customers even better with high quality products that they value.”

In the past six months, the Group’s employee base reduced by 1% compared to 31 March 2018, from an overall average staff count of 103,363 to 101,983. This was largely a result of natural attrition, together with a slower pace of recruitment as the business continues its various internal programmes to improve efficiency through the implementation of new technology and workflows.

Emirates Airline

During the first six months of 2018-19, Emirates received 8 wide-body aircraft – 3 Airbus A380s, and 5 Boeing 777s, with 5 more new aircraft scheduled to be delivered before the end of the financial year. It also retired 7 older aircraft from its fleet with further 4 to be returned by March 31, 2019. The airline’s long-standing strategy to invest in the most advanced wide-body aircraft enables it to improve overall efficiency and provide better customer experiences.

Emirates continues to offer ever better connections for its customers across the globe with just one stop in Dubai.

In the first six months of its financial year, Emirates launched new passenger services to Stansted (UK) and Santiago (Chile).  It also introduced a new linked service from Dubai via Bali to Auckland. As of 30 September, Emirates’ global network spanned 161 destinations in 85 countries. Its fleet stood at 269 aircraft including freighters.

Emirates further developed its partnership with flydubai, offering customers even more benefits as both airlines combined their loyalty programme under Emirates Skywards.  Customers also enjoy new flight choices as Emirates and flydubai continued to leverage their complementary networks to optimise flight schedules and offer new city-pair connections through Dubai, as well as open new routes including Kinshasa (Congo), Krakow (Poland), and Catania (Italy) in the first half of 2018-19.

Overall capacity during the first six months of the year increased a modest 3% to 31.8 billion Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKM). Capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASKM), grew by 4%, whilst passenger traffic carried measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKM) was up 6% with average Passenger Seat Factor rising to 78.8%, compared with last year’s 77.2%.

Emirates carried 30.1 million passengers between 1 April and 30 September 2018, up 3% from the same period last year. The volume of cargo uplifted at 1.3 million tonnes is largely unchanged while yield improved by a healthy 11% .This performance is the result of Emirates SkyCargo’s focussed investments in products and services tailored to key sectors, which gives it a strong competitive edge in a recovering global air freight market.

In the first half of the 2018-19 financial year, Emirates net profit is AED 226 million (US$62 million), down 86%, compared to last year. Emirates revenue, including other operating income, of AED 48.9 billion (US$ 13.3 billion) was up 10% compared with the AED 44.5 billion (US$ 12.1 billion) recorded during the same period last year. This result was driven by increased agility in capacity deployment, and improved seat load factors despite fare increases reflect the healthy customer demand for Emirates’ products.

Emirates operating costs grew by 13% against the overall capacity increase of 3%. On average, fuel costs were 42% higher compared to the same period last year, this was largely due to an increase in oil prices (up 37% compared to same period last year), as well as an increase in fuel uplift of 4% due to Emirates’ expanding fleet operations. Fuel remained the largest component of the airline’s cost, accounting for 33% of operating costs compared with 26% in the first six months of last year.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Emirates): Emirates Airline Airbus A380-861 A6-EDD (msn 020) JFK (Fred Freketic). Image: 944350.

Emirates aircraft slide show:

x