Last updated: 04:13 PM ET, Mon October 10 2016

Taking To The Skies With Emirates

The carrier operates the world's largest fleet of double-decker Airbus 380 aircraft

Vacation Agent | Features & Advice | Theresa Norton

Taking To The Skies With Emirates

PHOTO: The A380-800 is equipped with 14 first-class “private suites,” 76 lie-flat business-class seats and 399 economy seats. (photo courtesy Emirates) 

Emirates, the Dubai-based carrier, operates the world’s largest fleet of double-decker Airbus 380 planes – which some of your aircraft geek clients would love to fly on.

Emirates now operates 82 A380-800s, with 60 more on the way. The airline currently flies the A380 between Dubai and four U.S. cities – New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. It also is frequently adding new A380 routes between Dubai and places such as Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand; Guangzhou, China; Milan, Italy; and Johannesburg, South Africa.

The giant A380-800 is über-luxurious, with 14 first-class “private suites” and 76 lie-flat business-class seats on the upper level. There are 399 economy seats on the lower level.

The upper level also has two showers in the first-class cabin and a bar, both made famous in TV commercials starring actress Jennifer Aniston. The “shower spas,” decorated in walnut and marble, feature a selection of Bulgari toiletries and signature Timeless Spa products. The lounge on the upper-level aft, available to first- and business-class passengers, features a horseshoe bar with a dedicated bartender serving cocktails, wine and beer along with a selection of canapés.

The first-class seating is in private compartments with sliding privacy doors, ambient lighting, a seat that converts into a fully flat bed with mattress, a mini-bar and a vanity table with mirror. Snacks and à la carte cuisine are served upon request, on Royal Doulton bone china, no less.

First- and business-class passengers also can reserve complimentary chauffeur service to and from the airport.

Airport lounges are available to first- and business-class passengers, offering gourmet buffets, à la carte meals, fresh juice bars, spa and beauty treatments, large plasma-screen TVs, business centers and showers. The lounges also are available to Emirates Skywards Platinum and Gold members.

In addition flat-bed seats, business-class passengers are privy to a personal mini-bar and Bulgari amenity kits.

READ MORE: Jennifer Aniston Back in New Emirates Commercial 

Like the other classes, economy seats in the A380s include free Wi-Fi and in-seat power outlets, and calls can be made with the mobile phone and data roaming services. The company says ambient lighting was designed to help passengers adjust to new time zones. Each economy seat has a screen with up to 2,500 channels of movies and TV shows. Meals include complimentary beers, wine, spirits, and hot and cold beverages.

The scale of Emirates’ fleet is interesting considering it flew its first routes out of Dubai on Oct. 25, 1985, with just two aircraft, a leased Boeing 737 and an Airbus 300 B4. Today, it operates more than 230 aircraft to over 150 destinations in more than 80 countries.


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Vacation Agent Magazine

A version of this article appears in print in the October 2016 issue of Vacation Agent Magazine.