What If Emirates Had Flown Concorde?

Emirates states it is now the world’s largest international carrier. The Middle Eastern giant is known for its huge Airbus A380 fleet. This made the Simple Flying team question “What if Emirates had flown the Concorde?” Could it have flown from London to Sydney via Dubai and Singapore?

Emirates Concorde
Could Emirates operate a fleet of Concorde aircraft? Photo: British Airways

The Concorde is known and loved the world over for being the world’s first supersonic airliner. However, it had a few problems preventing it from realising its full potential. One of these was a restriction against supersonic flight over land. Additionally, following a fatal crash in Paris, tied with high fare prices, passenger interest in the aircraft died away.

Potential routes

As previously mentioned, one of the main pitfalls of the Concorde was its sonic boom. As a result of the loud booming noise, the Concorde was not received well when flown over land. In fact, as a result of the Concorde, supersonic air travel is still banned above the US today.

Assuming that Emirates would also be subjected to restrictions flying over populated areas, there are a few routes which the carrier would be able to operate from its hub in Dubai. Emirates’ business model relies heavily on connecting travellers. Using the Concorde, it would potentially be able to continue this.

London to Sydney… via Dubai

A popular route for connecting passengers is between London and Sydney. Indeed, Qantas is currently trying to make this a nonstop route through Project Sunrise. It wouldn’t be possible to complete this route without two stops. However, it could be managed by avoiding flying over much densely inhabited land.

London to Sydney
Emirates could potentially operate a Concorde between London and Sydney via Dubai and Singapore. Photo: GCMaps

Upon leaving London, an Emirates Concorde could theoretically fly south skirting around the French coast. After a short hop across the Pyrenees Mountains, the route is mostly over the Mediterranean sea. The only other land mass encountered is the Middle East. The Concorde could fly over the largely uninhabited portions of the desert, then land at Dubai.

The next leg would be almost completely over the sea to Singapore. Finally, the aircraft could continue on to Sydney again, mostly over water and the largely uninhabited central portion of Australia. However, the aircraft would also be able to reach Eastern Africa and Southern Asia from Dubai avoiding large land masses.

The Concorde was actually supposed to fly a similar route. According to The Flight Detective, the aircraft was supposed to fly London-Bahrain-Singapore-Sydney. However, flights never reached Sydney due to complaints from various governments. The aircraft was forced to route around India and Malaysia.

Luxury product

The Concorde was also well known for the luxury it offered passengers. In fact, British Airways still associates the Concorde name with luxury. The carrier’s most exclusive lounges in London and New York are named the Concorde Room.

Emirates Concorde Luxury
Emirates and Concorde are words both synonymous with luxury. Photo: Travelarz via Wikimedia

Emirates is also well known for the luxury product provided on their flights. As such, the Concorde and Emirates would likely go hand in hand in terms of luxury.

Emirates does very well operating the Airbus A380, a very costly aircraft in terms of fuel usage. By marketing the Concorde effectively as part of their luxury brand, it is possible that Emirates could make a success of such an aircraft.

We will never know

Alas, we will never know for two reasons. Firstly, the Concorde was retired in 2003 after a fatal crash of the type drops its popularity. Additionally, according to Arabian Business, Tim Clark, CEO of Emirates is not a fan of Supersonic transport. It is too costly and uses way too much fuel angering environmentalists.

Do you think Emirates could make a success of the Concorde? Would you fly the aircraft today with Emirates? Let us know in the comments!