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Emirates Milestones 1985-2015


Emirates Milestones 1985-2015



  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum gives $10 million to the Emirates team start an airline in five months.
  • Pakistan International Airlines agrees to lease Emirates two aircraft – an Airbus 300 and Boeing 737
  • On October 25th 1985, EK600 departs Dubai International for Karachi, its first commercial flight.
  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum gives Emirates two Boeing 727-200s.


  • Emirates takes delivery of its first bought aircraft, an Airbus 310. The Airbus A310-300 is designed to Emirates specifications.


  • Emirates orders three more Airbus A310-300s at the Asean Aerospace exhibition in Singapore.


  • Emirates begins services to the busiest international hub in the world – London Heathrow.
  • Emirates orders seven Boeing 777s, with an option for seven more.


  • Emirates becomes the first airline to install video systems in all seats in all classes throughout its Airbus fleet.
  • Emirates begins flights to Charles de Gaulle in Paris.
  • An exclusive Emirates terminal opens at Dubai International Airport.
  • Emirates becomes first airline to order a $20 million Airbus full-flight simulator.


  • Emirates becomes the first airline to introduce telecommunications on all of its Airbus aircraft – in all three classes.


  • Emirates is the first airline to equip an Airbus fleet with an on-flight fax facility.


  • First Emirati pilots graduate from Emirates’ training programme.
  • Emirates Flight Training Centre opens.


  • Emirates takes delivery of its first Boeing 777-200 and becomes the first airline to show live footage of take-off and landing on its in-flight entertainment system. The B777-200’s maiden flight is to London Heathrow.
  • Emirates becomes title sponsor of the world’s richest horse racing event – the Dubai World Cup.


  • Emirates makes a $2 billion order for 16 Airbus A330-200s.


  • Group takes a 43 per cent stake in Air Lanka, which is then renamed SriLankan.


  • Frequent flyer loyalty programme Emirates Skywards is launched.
  • Emirates becomes the first airline to sign up for the Airbus A380 when it orders seven, with an option on five more, at the Farnborough Air Show.
  • Emirates buys another six Boeing 777-300s.


  • Emirates SkyCargo Centre – with a capacity to handle 400,000 tonnes a year – opens.
  • Emirates signs £24 million deal to sponsor English Premiership football club Chelsea for four years.
  • Emirates announces a $15 billion order for 15 A380s, eight A340-600s, three A330s and 25 Boeing 777s.


  • Group announces $275 million investment in new hangar complex at the Emirates Engineering Centre.


  • CAE and Emirates open the $100 million Emirates Aviation Training Centre.
  • Emirates breaks records at the Paris Air Show with an order for 71 aircraft at a cost of $19 billion.
  • Daily service from Dubai to Sydney commences on the first A340-500 to join the fleet, which was the maiden flight for the airline’s industry leading First Class suites. The A340-500 features ice , its game-changing in-flight entertainment system – including 500 channels in all classes, and every seat is equipped with a phone.
  • Emirates launches ice and is the first airline to offer more than 500 channels of in-flight entertainment on demand in all classes, the widest choice in the skies.
  • Emirates introduces commercial e-ticketing, a further move towards seamless air travel.


  • Emirates orders four Boeing 777-300ERs, with nine options, in a $2.96 billion deal.
  • First Dubai lounge opens and the first international lounge opens in Brisbane.
  • Emirates makes its first flight to New York’s JFK Airport, its first destination in the United States.


  • Emirates orders 42 Boeing 777s in a deal worth $9.7 billion, the largest Boeing 777 order in history.
  • Emirates signs a £100 million deal with Arsenal, which includes naming rights to its new stadium for 15 years and shirt sponsorship for eight years, starting from the 2006/07 season.


  • Emirates seals $195 million partnership deal with FIFA and also buys the rights to screen every match played at the 2006 FIFA World Cup on its flights.
  • Emirates SkyCargo signs $2.8 billion order for 10 Boeing 747-8Fs.
  • Emirates’ self-check-in kiosks are introduced in Dubai Airport.


  • Emirates stuns the world by signing up for 120 Airbus A350s, 11 A380s and 12 Boeing 777-330ERs, worth an estimated $34.9 billion at the Dubai Air Show.
  • New Emirates Engineering Centre and Engine Test Cell are officially opened, with hangars designed especially for the A380.
  • Emirates reaches six continents with the launch of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • Captain Abbas Shaban, a UAE National, becomes the first pilot qualified to fly the A380.


  • The company moves into the new multi – million dollar Emirates Group Headquarters.
  • The Emirates dedicated Terminal 3 opens.
  • Emirates SkyCargo begins operations out of Dubai Cargo Village’s new Mega Terminal, with a capacity to handle 1.2 million tonnes annually.
  • Emirates becomes the first international carrier to introduce an in-flight mobile phone service.
  • Emirates takes delivery of its first three A380s.
  • First Emirates A380 touches down in New York JFK airport.


  • Emirates becomes the world’s largest operator of Boeing 777s with the delivery of its 78th B777 aircraft.


  • Emirates orders 32 additional A380s at the Berlin Air Show along with GP7200 engines by Engine Alliance. It also orders 30 additional B777-300ERs at the Farnborough Air Show.


  • Emirates places the largest single order in Boeing’s history – 50 777-300 ER aircraft, worth $18 billion in list price. The order also included 20 777-300 ER options valued at US$ 8 billion.
  • Emirates launches Wi-Fi internet connectivity on its A380 fleet.
  • Emirates launches mobile boarding passes for its travellers.


  • Emirates joins Boeing in Seattle to celebrate the unveiling of its 1,000th 777. The landmark aircraft becomes the 102nd to join Emirates’ Boeing 777 fleet.
  • Emirates launches its first social media platform, Facebook followed by Google +.


  • Concourse A, the world’s first purpose built A380 concourse, opens its doors. The giant building with 20 A380 gates is over 800m long and houses the largest airline lounges in the world.
  • Emirates’ landmark commercial partnership with Qantas is launched. Qantas moves its second hub from Singapore to Dubai.
  • Emirates rewrites aviation history with an order for 200 aircraft – 150 Boeing 777Xs and 50 A380s. At US$99 billion, it was the largest order in civil aviation history.


  • Emirates SkyCargo moves its freighter operations to Dubai World Central’s (DWC) Al Maktoum International Airport.
  • The Emirates app is launched for iPad, followed by the launch of its first iPhone app.
  • Emirates rolls-out free Wi-Fi across its fleet beginning with its A380 and Boeing 777s.
  • Emirates participates in 3 world cups – the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia, and the Dubai World Cup.


  • Emirates Sees Brand Value Grow for 4th Consecutive Year to US$6.6 billion. The airline also retains its top position as the most valuable airline brand in the world.
  • The Emirates app for the Apple Watch is launched.
  • Emirates celebrates a milestone in its employee history, with its cabin crew team now crossing 20,000 staff.
  • Emirates signs an historic $9.2 Billion order with Rolls-Royce for 200 A380 engines
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