Emirates operates the world’s largest fleets of A380s and Boeing 777s, and to serve these aircraft, it runs the world’s largest state-of-the-art aircraft paint hangar owned by an airline.
Located at Dubai International Airport, Emirates’ paint hanger is more than twice the size of a football field, and has been designed to deliver quality that even exceeds the standards of aircraft manufacturers.
In 2013, Emirates’ advanced paint hangar completely stripped 21 aircraft (or nearly 10 per cent of its fleet) of exterior paint and gave them a brand new coat. It took 6,550 hours in total, or 273 days and nights of non-stop stripping and repainting, to complete these make-overs. In addition to these major projects, the paint shop was kept fully engaged with over 60,000 other paint touch-up jobs on the exteriors and interiors of the aircraft, as well as cabin items.
"Our aircraft livery is one of the most recognisable and visible aspects of our brand. It is what people see in the sky, and the first thing our passengers see at their boarding gates. We take pride in maintaining our aircraft to the highest possible standards, and it is important our planes look pristine on the outside as well as on the inside," said Adel Al Redha, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Emirates.
"It’s not just about looking good. The paint coat has to withstand fierce weather conditions, including severe wind, bitter cold and searing heat, and an exterior coat that is clean of debris and imperfections improves aerodynamics and reduces fuel consumption. Emirates already flies a young and efficient fleet, but with fuel prices at consistently high levels, every little bit of efficiency counts," he added.
Emirates’ paint hanger uses the latest technologies and systems including fully-controlled environments that regulate temperature, humidity and airflow – all of which are critical factors for the perfect glossy coat.
Emirates flies past 20 years of service to Doha
Emirates has notched up 20 years of service to Doha, carrying around 6.8 million passengers on the route since 1994.
Throughout two decades of commitment, Emirates has built up its service to the Qatari capital and now operates six flights a day, matched only by Bangkok in terms of daily frequencies on the airline’s network.
"This is a significant achievement. Markets that are just a short flight from our home of Dubai are just as important as the medium and long range destinations, which is why we have constantly invested in upgrading the aircraft, product and frequencies on this route to bring the very best value for money," said Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Centre.
"And for those who wish to travel beyond Dubai, passengers can enjoy Emirates’ industry leading Terminal 3, before exploring our six continent network," he added.
The most popular destinations beyond Dubai for travellers departing Doha are Manila, Kozhikode, London Heathrow, Hyderabad, Cairo, Jakarta, Dhaka, Kochi and Trivandrum. It’s a similar list of gateways for the passengers Emirates carries into Doha.
Down below in the cargo hold, the world is also on the move. Fruits, dairy products, meat, seafood, electrical equipment and flowers are amongst the goods being carried to Doha with Emirates Skycargo. Goods being lifted out of Doha include construction equipment, spices, cosmetics, newspapers, exhibition goods and spare parts for ships.
Emirates serves Doha with a combination of Airbus A330-200, Airbus 340-500, Boeing 777-300 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. The airline started flights to Doha on 2 January 1994.
After recently launching Kiev, the next destination for Emirates in 2014 is Taipei, effective 10 February, and then Boston from 10 March, the airline’s 8th gateway into the US.