Emirates, The Trailblazer of The Middle Eastern Carriers

Since its founding in 37 years ago, in March 1985, Emirates has become one of the major players in aviation worldwide. The airline’s business model has been inspiration for other airlines in the Gulf and middle east area such as Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways and Turkish Airlines.

The airline started off not looking at all as the giant of aviation we all know today. In 1985 the airline started operations with an Airbus A300 and a Boeing 737-300 with the first route being operated from Dubai International Airport (DXB) to Karachi (KHI).

Emirates First Flight from Dubai to Karachi represented in a map showing the possible flight path of used by the EK plane.

Emirates is the largest user of both Boeing 777 and Airbus A380. With its all wide body aircraft fleet the airline serves every inhabited continent on earth.

The Emirates Business Model

Emirates was the first airline to rise in the middle east region. The carrier made a name for itself as a trailblazer in both passenger experience innovation and airline business models.

Looking at the operations side of things Emirates mastered the ultimate version of the hub and spoke airline network model. In EK’s case all spokes are generated from the one and only mega hub the airline uses, Dubai International Airport (DXB).

Emirates’ Hub and Spoke model is designed to optimise connecting flights between Europe, US, Asia and Australia. All flights arrive in a similar time frame so that passengers can transfer to the next wave of outgoing flights shortly afterwards.

Emirates’ Business model generates traffic in and out of DXB in waves. The times of the day when flights are incoming and outgoing are concentrated in a few hours. Those hours are extremely busy, while the rest of the day is relatively quiet and calm at the airport.

Emirates origins fleet routes and plans for the future

Making The Airbus A380 Work

What sets Emirates apart from every other airline in world is its capability in making the Airbus A380 work on a large scale. EK has been the only airline in the history of aviation able to make truly unleash the Airbus A380’s potential.

As mentioned the Dubai based airline operates the largest fleet of A380s in the world. Half of the A380s ever built is flying in EK’s fleet. Unlike other airlines it was possible to deploy the A380 many high demand routes, maintaining a high load factor, and operating it in its most efficient route length range.

Therefore the A380 will be part of the Emirates fleet for many years to come. All while other airlines around the world are planning to retire in the medium to short term the Airbus A380.

The Unique Emirates Fleet

This might seem strange however as of 2023 the Emirates fleet shares something with many low cost carriers. Its fleet is quite streamlined. Many low cost carriers operate only one aircraft type, EK in a similar fashion has only 2 aircraft types in its fleet.

Having only 2 plane types in its 252 unit fleet makes it inevitably the largest user of these two aircraft types. Specifically the Emirates fleet features:

ManufacturerTypeQuantity
Airbus Logo AirbusA380-800119
Boeing Logo Boeing777-300ER123
Boeing Logo Boeing777-200LR10

With the Airbus A380 out of production the Emirates fleet will look very different in the future. The UAE airline plans to introduce in coming years the ultra modern Airbus A350-900 and replace its ageing 777-200/300 with the new generation of 777-8/9. However it’ll be quite some time before large numbers of the A380 are retired.

Emirates Airbus A380-800 in the lower deck that accommodates the economy class cabin in a 3-4-3 layout.

Emirates To Start A Cabin Crew Career

Emirates is also a great opportunity for those looking to start a or up their career as a cabin crew. The Dubai based airline is always on the look out to hire new cabin crew members.

What is great about EK is that you don’t necessarily need prior experience in order to apply and get a job with them. I personally applied successfully for position as a cabin crew and got hired with no prior work experience in the industry.

Emirates regularly holds open days around the world where you can apply. If you are selected you will undergo training in their state of the art facilities in Dubai for approximately 2 months before going online.