…Emirates, perhaps no surprise there, but whilst all eyes have been on their competitors Qatar Airways and Etihad in 2014, Emirates has quietly grown itself to be one of the powerhouses of the international airline industry. Last year saw the airline receive no less than 27 aircraft, the equivalent of slightly more than one delivery a fortnight. Emirates may not have delivered the innovation of both Qatar or Etihad recently, but there have been industry rumours of Emirates releasing their own version of a beyond-First Class suite on-board their aircraft.
Big milestones for Emirates includes the arrival of the airline’s 50th A380 and 100th 777-300ER aircraft. Whilst it’s easy to receive aircraft into the fleet as rapidly as the carrier has, it’s difficult to maintain a load factor across the fleet, yet Emirates have managed to achieve this too. With both the airport expansion at Dubai and the Ebola outbreak both affecting the UAE based airline, it has still manage to carry 45million passengers over an impressive 3,516 flights per week (on average).
2014 also saw the growth of frequencies on most destinations, and the launch of eight new destinations: Kiev, Taipei, Boston, Abuja, Chicago, Oslo, Brussels and Budapest. 10 destinations in 2014 received the airline’s flagship aircraft the A380, including Zurich, Barcelona, London Gatwick, Kuwait, Mumbai, Frankfurt, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Francisco, Milan and Houston, making 32 destinations in total that receive the A380.
Technology has also improved on the Emirates fleet, with 80 aircraft receiving Wi-Fi in-flight, and all A380’s offering the first 10 megabytes absolutely free, with the following 500mbs at just US$1. We’ve utilised the Wi-Fi on our LAX-DXB trip earlier in the year, and it was fast and reliable. In the near future, all passengers will have access to totally free and unlimited Wi-Fi onboard Emirates flights.
One thing is for sure, Emirates is set to impress in 2015, and with more destinations on the cards, a completed airport renovation plan and even more A380’s to come, the Emirates experience is still one of the best in the world. No wonder their First Class featured in our Top 10 First Classes for 2015, announced a few days ago.