Superjumbo lands today

Superjumbo lands today

HAMBURG - Emirates, after a delay of about two years, finally received the first of its 58 Airbus A380-800 superjumbos yesterday in Hamburg.

By Mark T. Townsend (mark

Published: Tue 29 Jul 2008, 12:18 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:00 PM

Middle East’s largest carrier immediately rewarded the world’s biggest commercial plane-maker with a $12 billion order, estimated at listed price, for 60 wide-bodied aircraft to keep up with its aggres sive expansion plan on track.

Dubai-based airline, under the $18.8 billion deal, will receive another four A380s before the end of 2008 with a second A380 being delivered by the end of September.

The airline will take delivery of the remaining 53 by June 2013.

The aircraft was received by Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Mak toum, Chairman and Chief Execu tive Officer (CEO) of Emirates Air line and Group. Tim Clarke, President of Emirates Airline, Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus and Jurgen Thomas, the brainchild behind the concept of the original A3XX pro gramme which preceded the A380, also attended the ceremony.

The aircraft was unveiled to invited guests and the international media by the 2,000 Airbus staff at Hamburg directly involved in the production of the superjumbo and 58 Emirates cabin crew representing the number of A380s on order by the Dubai-based airline.

Shaikh Ahmed, addressing guests said, “We have stood firm on our commitment to the A380 and our investment in the aircraft, including engines and inflight features exceeds 32 billion euros with 12 billion euros spent in Germany alone.

“The A380 programme has created 40,000 or 50,000 direct and indirect jobs in Germany, to all those people that have worked on the A380 programme, Emirates says thank you we appreciate this,” he added.

After initially flying on the New York sector, Emirates A380 will eventually fly to London, Sydney and Auckland. The Emirates A380s will be powered by Engine Alliance GP7200 engines that according to Emirates will save 500,000 litres of fuel per aircraft per year over any other engine currently available.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Tim Clarke said: “On the long range operations there will be two Captains and two First Officers.” Denying there would be any special remuneration for cabin crew on the A380, he added, “we have a very good remuneration package which we standardise across our fleet irrespective of the aircraft we fly.” The delivery of the aircraft takes the total Emirates fleet to 118 including 108 passenger and 10 freighter aircraft. — What about taking a five-minute shower at 43,000 feet in the air? That is exactly what Emirates is offering to its first class passengers on the world’s largest commercial plane.

The first class cabins of the double-decker A380s will have two bathrooms with showers. The bathrooms will have water temperature and time control, vanity unit, washbasin and changing area.

There is also a 15.4 inch LCD monitor that displays the live air show and tail camera. Cosmetics include perfumes by Bvlgari and Timeless spa shampoo, conditioner and shower gel will also available to spruce yourself up.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Tim Clarke, president of Emirates, said Emirates used its own in-house creative team to create a master plan for the entire aircraft but with the services of Jack Pierre Jean, a well-known interior designer. “We did it ourselves. We briefed Jack Pierre Jean and a lot of that is his work in terms of the finishes and materials in the suites and showers.” Emirates has launched a number of initiatives in the premium cabin, raising the bar in luxury travel once again.

As per the configuration, the first class (upper deck) will have 14 flat-bed private suites set in a 1-2-1 configuration and includes an electrically operated door, mini bar, and work desk with reading lights and built-in illuminated vanity mirror.

The suite is 82 inches (2.08 metres) long with a seat that reclines from upright to sleep position with a total length of 78.7 inches. It includes a 23-inch wide LCD screen linked to Emirates Information, Communication and Entertainment (ICE) inflight system.

Passengers also can use the fully stocked bar in front of the first class cabin.

First and business class passengers can have the exclusive use of a lounge at the rear of the business class cabin on the upper deck that includes a fully stocked bar, a selection of snacks and a 42-inch LCD screen showing the aircraft’s position and views from external cameras. Passengers can relax on two sofas with mood lighting.

The business class (upper deck) will have 76 lie-flat beds in a 2-4-2 configuration with a seat pitch 39 and 48 inches that extend to form 70-79-inch fully flat beds. The seat is housed in a shell with built-in amenities such as a mini bar, privacy panel, large personal table and separate footrest extension and laptop stowage.

It also includes a touch screen wireless integrated passenger seat controller for controlling entertainment features and a 17-inch wide LCD screen that uses Emirates’ ICE system and dual USB ports in each seat.

In the economy class (main deck), there are 399 seats in a 3-4-3 configuration. The seats are pitched 32-33 inches apart reclining six inches. Each seat has an individual 10.6 inch screen linked to the ICE system.

Another feature is an at-seat laptop power supply.

The roll-out of the Emirates A380 is likely to have a major impact on the way passengers travel and their expectations in the premium segment.

Khaleej Times is offering an in-flight diary of the impressions and ambience of the new classes on the A380 to Dubai tomorrow.

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