“Fly Emirates. Keep Discovering”
“Fly Emirates. To over Six Continents”
Skytrax rating: 4 stars
No alliance membership
- 103 passenger destinations (+ 11 more cargo destinations) across 6 continents
- Stop-overs in Abu Dhabi (UAE)
- Various routes (stop-over in Abu Dhabi)
- Code-share with South African Airways
Emirates Airlines is the airline company of the Emirates Group, which is a nationalised (government-owned) company providing travel, tourist and cargo services. However, Emirates is not the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where it is based. That title rests with Etihad Airways.
Like Etihad and Qatar Airways, Emirates is currently undergoing extensive expansion and has 90 Airbus 380 planes on order, of which nearly 20 have already been received and inducted into service. Emirates also has an order for 90 more Boeing 777-300ER planes, and once they are all in service the airline will be operating 151 planes of that model. The Airbus 380 and the Boeing 777-300ER are among the largest and most recently manufactured passenger jet aircraft and their sheer number will give the Emirates fleet an enormous passenger capacity which far surpasses that of most other international airlines. Once all the orders have been delivered, Emirates will have a fleet consisting entirely of the largest passenger aircraft models on the market (and is already one of only nine airlines to make use exclusively of wide-bodied planes). Some national airlines in Europe do not even have 90 planes in the totality of their fleets, let alone place orders for 90 of the biggest and newest jets at a time. Emirates’ route expansion agenda therefore seems to be entirely international in nature, since aircraft such as these are less likely to be used in shorter, lower-demand domestic and/or regional flights. This is in keeping with Emirates’ profile as an international airline with a very wide route coverage.
According to Emirates themselves, an added advantage of this fleet configuration is that the large planes have a higher fuel efficiency and therefore produce less toxic emissions. But another issue about a fleet with so many long-range high-capacity planes is that Emirates is less likely to need or make use of code-share agreements with other airlines, since it has so many of its own long-haul planes. Despite this issue, Emirates does indeed have some code-share agreements, but they are fewer than ten and none of them is with a European, UK or USA airline.
In addition to its passenger service, Emirates also has a cargo airline, Emirates Skycargo, which uses only Boeing 747s and 777s.
There are three cabin classes on Emirates flights – First, Business and Economy. First Class is further divided into suites (which are far more than just a seat, but more like a private cubicle) and more traditional seats, which are known as “SkyCruiser” seats. The Economy Class seating arrangement on the Boeing 777 planes has the seats in rows of ten across the width of the plane, in a 3-4-3 layout. Not many airlines use this layout.
The frequent flyer program is known as “Skywards”.