Emirates has 44 A380 aircraft in its fleet and a further 96 on order, making it — by far — the airline most committed to the Airbus superjumbo.
The Gulf carrier unveiled its first, long-awaited A380 in July 2008. It was on August 1, 2008, that Emirates flew the superjumbo on its debut flight to New York, which remains its longest non-stop route.
Now the airline flies the superjumbo to 25 destinations including London Heathrow, Los Angeles Rome, Moscow, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Auckland. In the coming weeks, this A380 route network will be extended to Mauritius on December 16 and Zurich from January 1. Tim Clark, the carrier's president, said: "Five swift years have gone by since Emirates changed the face of air travel with this remarkable aircraft. Its popularity is now firmly rooted across our six continent network."
Emirates operates its A380s in two configurations. The first has 489 seats 14 in First Class, 76 in Business and 399 in Economy.
The second, denser configuration is deployed on long-haul flights. It has 517 seats, with 14 in First, 76 in Business and 427 in Economy.
In both configurations, First and Business are on the upper deck, while economy is on the main lower deck.
On the upper deck is the Onboard Lounge, where First and Business passengers can enjoy a drink. All of the airline's A380s are fitted with wifi. In January 2013, Emirates opened Concourse A, the dedicated home of its A380 fleet and the world's first purpose-built facility for the aircraft at Dubai International.
Over the last five years, Emirates has carried more than 18 million passengers on its A380s.
More than 7,000 cabin crew support and nearly 670 flight deck crew work on the fleet. Over 35 million meals have been served during 20,000 trips, spanning 265 million kilometres. In all, 37 airports have been visited, either for scheduled flights, one-off special appearances or because of diversions.