Emirates has at last taken delivery of the first of 58 Airbus A380s it has on order. It was handed over today at an "historic" ceremony in Hamburg, graced by the airline's chairman Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum and Airbus CEO Tom Enders.
Judging by the Airbus press release the shindig was a bit of a love-in, with Sheikh Ahmed enthusing: “Emirates was quick to recognise the potential of Airbus’ all new A380 design, with its large double-deck capacity and excellent operating economics. It will be one of the pillars of Emirates’ future
"With its very low fuel burn and quietness, the A380 also sets new standards in environmental performance. It will definitely help air transportation and Emirates grow, while reducing the impact on the environment.”
Enders chipped in: “Fulfilling the A380 dream has required vision, innovation, a lot of courage and determination. Emirates shared in this vision early on and today the result is the world’s most modern, innovative and eco-efficient aircraft ever built. The A380 is changing the way people travel. Airbus is proud of all the engineers, staff and customers such as Emirates who have made the A380 a magnificent reality."
The Emirates A380 reality is apparently an "exclusive, spacious and luxurious cabin, featuring 489 seats (14 first class suites, 76 business and 399 economy)" with "ceiling mood lighting throughout [which] creates a calming starry night sky effect".
The A380 will depart Germany tomorrow en route to Dubai, and enters service on 1 August between the latter and New York. Emirates currently boasts the largest A380 order of the 202 total examples requested by 17 customers, of which five have already been delivered to Singapore Airlines.
There's more on the Emirates A380 experience here. ®