Emirates A380 fever, whipped up with the delivery of its first A380 in Hamburg, is destined for the U.S. after the airline's super-jumbo embarked on the first-ever A380 commercial flight into the Americas.
The flight, which took off today at 1100hrs Dubai time, bound for New York, follows near-frenzied activity in Germany, when the airline received the first of its 58 A380s. Emotional scenes were witnessed by thousands on the ground and then millions more as pictures and news reports were transmitted around the world.
The super-jumbo, equipped with Onboard Shower Spas and a Lounge, has received glowing reviews from those who have been lucky enough to enjoy the revolutionary in-flight experience.
Now, it's time to demonstrate the airline's "premium hotel in the sky" to the American market. Flight EK3801 is expected to touch down at JFK at 1700hrs local time after a journey of around 12.5 hours from Dubai.
The New York inaugural flight has been fully booked for some time and passengers are keen to see the talk of the airline industry for themselves. The gigantic plane is arranged in a three class configuration - 399 seats in Economy, 76 fully-flat seats in Business Class and 14 Private Suites in First Class.
A number of senior Emirates' executives have joined the A380 flight, including the airline's President Tim Clark; Keith Longstaff, Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Worldwide; Terry Daly, Divisional Senior Vice President, Service Delivery; and Andrew Parker, Senior Vice President, Public and Environmental Affairs.
In New York, invited guests and the media will assemble for a reception in Emirates' JFK lounge. After the A380 touches down, guests will have the opportunity to look around the carrier's 118th aircraft, kicking off a series of familiarisation events around the U.S.
On Monday, 4th August, the aircraft will be on show at San Francisco International Airport before moving on to the Flight Path Museum in Los Angeles the following day. In both cities, guests and media representatives will be given the flight of their lives during a 2-hour demonstration. Further static tours will take place on the ground.
Despite its colossal size, the luxurious Emirates' A380 is among the most environmentally considerate aircraft ever built and offers better fuel economy per passenger mile than most hybrid passenger cars. Its Engine Alliance GP7200 engines are noticeably quiet - great news for passengers and a welcomed development for residents below.
The aircraft is very much the new "baby" of the Emirates Group after being handed over at Airbus's new Jürgen Thomas A380 Delivery Centre in Hamburg on Monday.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman & Chief Executive Emirates Airline and Group, attended the sun-blessed handover ceremony, along with Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline; Airbus CEO Tom Enders; former Engine Alliance President, Bruce Hughes and Jürgen Thomas, the “founding father” of the A380. Boris Becker, the former Wimbledon champion, joined the euphoria and helped add a true game, set and match feeling to the whole occasion.
The Emirates A380 will carry 24 cabin crew members and for the first time, Emirates has brought in Cabin Service Assistants, tasked with keeping the Onboard Shower Spas meticulously clean for the exclusive use of First Class passengers.
Passengers aboard today's Dubai-New York A380 flight are the first fare-paying customers to see the airline's new look uniform. Carrying through the well-known beige and red theme of the previous outfit, the latest apparel gives a sharper, more business-like feel to the onboard service.
Emirates is due to receive five of the super-jumbos in the current financial year. After being incorporated into the airline's twice-daily service to New York, the quieter, greener aircraft will be deployed on the London Heathrow route from 1st December and on the Sydney and Auckland services from February next year.