Emirates Airlines

About Emirates Airlines

The award-winning airline Emirates is a Dubai-based carrier established in 1985. Its main hub since its foundation has been Dubai International Airport, but eventually it will have a much larger base at Al Maktoum International Airport, which has been built at Dubai World Central, a new planned city 37 kilometres south-west of Dubai. When fully operational, Al Maktoum will be the largest airport in the world, with five runways.

Emirates' entire fleet consists of wide-bodied long-haul aircraft, including the world's largest fleet of Airbus A380 double deckers. The airline serves more than 125 destinations worldwide, covering all six continents. There are dedicated Emirates departure lounges at four of the UK's major airports, open to all classes of passenger.

First Class

Emirates' first-class offering varies according to the aircraft, but on some planes, including the A380 and the A340-500, first-class passengers enjoy a private suite with sliding doors for complete exclusivity. Here you can adjust the beautiful colour-changing ambient lighting, and convert your seat into a fully flat bed, for a completely restful sleep. The most distinctive feature is the Shower Spa -- two shower suites in which you can reserve a 30-minute session, complete with two full-time shower attendants -- and the shower suites are quite spacious, probably bigger than those in a typical city apartment.

Passengers in the private suites can enjoy a personal dining service, with the choice of anything from a snack to a full gourmet meal whenever the mood takes you. For entertainment there is Emirates' own ICE in-flight system, which has won the Skytrax award for the best in-flight entertainment system every year since its inception in 2003. First-class passengers on the A380 can also use the exclusive On-board Lounge, with a range of drinks, cocktails and canapés.

Business Class

Emirates has several different business class offerings, depending on the aircraft. The oldest type, on the A330 and some of the retrofitted B777s, are cradle-style seats with varying degrees of recline, while passengers on the A340 can enjoy the lie-flat cocoon-style seat. Most Boeing 777 aircraft have fully-reclined seats, and special touches on these aircraft include stars that come out on the ceiling during night flying, and outside cameras that allow passengers to watch what the plane is doing.

It is the Airbus A380 business class cabin that has the airline's newest fully-flat seats, all 18.5 inches wide, in a 1-2-1 formation on the upper deck. The inner seats have a seat pitch of 39 inches and a reclined length of 69 inches, while the outer seats have much more room, with a seat pitch of 48 inches and a fully-flat length of 78 inches. The cabin is split into two, with the bar located in the smaller section at the rear.

Economy Class

The seat pitch in Emirates' economy class varies according to the aircraft, with the A330 having the shortest seat pitch of 31 inches, and the longest of 33.8 inches being found on some seats on the A340. All economy seats have phones, and individual seat-back TV screens. On the newer aircraft, the screens are 10.6 inches wide, and have a USB connection allowing you to view shows and videos on your laptop.