Emirates Airline is the largest airline in the Middle East.
It is the national airline of Dubai, United Arab Emirates
and operates over 2,400 passenger flights per week, from
its hub at Dubai International Airport Terminal 3, to 105
cities in 62 countries across six continents. The company
also operates three of the ten world's longest non-stop
commercial flights from Dubai to Los Angeles, San Francisco
and Houston. Emirates is a subsidiary of The Emirates Group,
which has over 50,000 employees, and is wholly-owned by
the Government of Dubai directly under the Investment Corporation
of Dubai. Cargo activities are undertaken by the Emirates
Group's Emirates SkyCargo division.
During the mid-1980s, Gulf Air began to cut back its services
to Dubai. As a result Emirates was conceived in March 1985
with backing from Dubai's royal family, whose Dubai Royal
Air Wing provided two of the airline's first aircraft. It
was required to operate independent of government subsidies,
apart from $10 million in start-up capital. The airline
became headed by Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the airline's
present chairman. In the years following its founding, the
airline expanded both its fleet and its destinations. In
October 2008, Emirates moved all operations at Dubai International
Airport to Terminal 3, a new terminal exclusively dedicated
to Emirates to sustain its rapid expansion and growth plans.
Emirates operates a mixed fleet of Airbus and Boeing wide-body
aircraft and is one of only nine airlines to operate an
all wide-body aircraft fleet. The centrepiece of the airline's
fleet is the Boeing 777. Emirates also has orders for 90
Airbus A380s with 12 of them already in service and became
the second operator of the Airbus A380-800 after Singapore
Airlines when their first aircraft was delivered on 28 July
2008. Emirates has won numerous awards and is an industry
bellwether for aircraft purchases, purchasing over 130 aircraft
in 2007 alone.
The airline ranks amongst the top 10 carriers worldwide
in terms of revenue, passenger kilometres, and has become
the largest airline in the Middle East in terms of revenue,
fleet size, and passengers carried as of 2007. In 2010 the
airline was the sixth-largest airline in the world in terms
of international passengers carried, and largest in the
world in terms of scheduled international passenger-kilometres
flown. The airline was also the seventh largest in terms
of scheduled freight tonne-kilometres flown.
Emirates has built up a strong brand name as a trendsetter
in the aviation industry, particularly in terms of service
excellence, coupled with consistent profitability. In 2010,
Emirates was voted the eighth best airline in the world
by research consultancy firm Skytrax.