Founded in Dubai in October 1985, Emirates Airlines is the world’s largest international carrier. The airline currently operates over 3,000 weekly flights to over 160 destinations, across six continents. Loyal customers of the airline are rewarded with the Skywards loyalty program. While its head office is in Dubai, the airline has a strong presence in Nigeria and caters to the Abuja and Lagos travel market.
The History of Emirates Airlines
Emirates Airlines was launched in 1985 with the backing of the Dubai Royal Family. The airline was to run independent of government subsidies. Maurice Flanagan (who was later knighted in 2000) was the first CEO of the airline.
The airline is accredited to have carried over 260 000 passengers in its first year, increasing to 1.6 million passengers per year by the early 1990s! A partnership with US Airways in 1993 enabled Emirates Airlines to introduce round-the-world services, steadily growing profits for the airline. The 2001 recession, followed by the bombing of the Colombo Airport and September 11 attacks triggered a financial downturn for Emirates. As a result of the cut in international airline flights to and around Dubai, Emirates Airlines soon began to profit again.
With expansion and growth at a rapid rate over the years, Emirates Airlines now places some of the largest orders for the Airbus A380 in the world.
Emirates Airlines’ fleet:
Emirates Airlines operates a fleet of 220 aircraft, consisting of the Airbus A330-200 (19), Airbus A340-300 (4), Airbus A340-500 (1), Airbus A380-800 (64), Boeing 777-200ER (6), Boeing 777-200LR (10), Boeing 777-300 (12) and Boeing 777-300ER (104). The airline currently has a further 272 aircraft on order.
Emirates Airlines’ Baggage Allowance and Limitations
Emirates Airlines offers its passengers the following baggage allowances:
- First class – 50kg.
- Business class – 40kg.
- Economy class – 30kg.
Cabin baggage is determined by travel class: First class and business class passengers are permitted two carry-on bags, 1 personal bag (not exceeding 45 x 35 x 20cm) and 1 travel bag (not exceeding 55 x 38 x 20cm). Each piece may not weigh more than 7kg. Economy class passengers are allowed one piece of hand luggage, not exceeding 55 x 38 x 20cm and weighing no more than 7kg.
Flight Routes of Emirates Airlines:
While Emirates Airlines flies to over 160 destinations, the airline focuses on Abuja and Lagos in Nigeria. Some of the major international destinations passengers can fly to include Italy, Pakistan, USA, Indonesia, Belgium, Hungary, Iran, Norway, Denmark and Russia to name a few.
Check-in Options and Procedures
Emirates Airlines passengers have the option of counter check-in or one of the self-service machines available in the terminal. Alternatively, those who want to avoid queues can check-in online up to 24 hours prior to departure. Passengers must be at the airport 2 hours prior to their flight departure. Check-in procedures typically close 30 minutes prior to departure, depending on the airport.
The in-flight experience
The in-flight experience at Emirates Airlines is world class. Depending on the aircraft being used and the class travelled in, passengers can enjoy a variety of comforts including
- flat beds
- shower facilities
- gourmet cuisine
- a variety of beverages
- the latest movies and television shows
- email or calls during the flight with your own mobile phone or via the onboard Wi-Fi service.
The “what’s on your flight” feature found on the Emirates Airlines website provides passengers with up-to date information on in-flight comforts and entertainment.
Partnerships/Code Share Agreements
Emirates Airlines enjoys partnerships with the following airlines: Alaska Airlines, Easy Jet, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Jet Blue, Jetstar, Korean Air, Qantas, S7 Airlines, South African Airways, TAP Portugal and Virgin America. Passengers who are part of the Skywards reward program can earn miles / points when travelling with these airlines.
Emirates Airlines in the news
Recently, American airline companies have been put out by the competition that Emirates Airlines, Etihad and Qatar have brought to their market. In an attempt to protect their profits and businesses, the three leading airlines in the US are urging governments to renegotiate Open Skies agreements. This is a direct result of the success of Emirates Airlines and other UAE airlines! Read more here.