Dubai-based Emirates has one of the most iconic fleets in the world. While most large carriers out there have a mix of widebody and narrowbody aircraft as well as various regional jets and turboprops, the fleet composition of Emirates is one of the simplest. Let’s take a look at the Emirates fleet in 2020 and how things might change in the near future.
The Airbus A380
If anyone in the industry were to play a word-association game with airlines and aircraft, the A380 would be most often associated with Emirates. The airline is the largest operator in the world of the superjumbo double-decker.
Emirates is widely considered responsible for keeping the less-than-popular program alive, and its decision to cancel orders in 2019 while showing little interest in updated variants led to Airbus shutting down A380 production. In fact, the final aircraft has been assembled and is undergoing interior fitting, painting, and a (deferred) delivery.
As for the A380s Emirates does have in its possession, the count, according to Planespotters.net, is 115 at the time of writing this article. Eight more superjumbos have yet to be delivered. Of the 115 A380s, nine are listed as ‘in-service’ while the remaining 106 are listed as ‘parked.’ The average age of these A380s is 6.6 years old.
The carrier’s A380s are further divided into three different configurations:
- A three-class long-range (517 passengers)
- Three-class ultra-long-range (489 passengers)
- And finally, a high-density two-class long-range (615 passengers)
The Boeing 777
It’s funny to think that the widebody twinjet 777 is the smallest passenger aircraft in Emirates’ regularly scheduled operations – but it’s how the airline has set up its mega-hub business model. Just like the A380, Emirates is the largest operator of the Boeing 777.
There is, however, some variation within the 777 fleet. Here is how it breaks down:
- Boeing 777-200LR: All 10 are listed as ‘in service.’ This ultra-long-distance jet is configured to have 38 seats in business class and 264 in economy, for a total of 302. The average age for these aircraft is 12.4 years.
- Boeing 777-300ER: 122 are listed as ‘in-service’ while nine are listed as ‘parked.’ The -300ER has five seating configurations, ranging from a total passenger capacity of 354 to 428. The most common setup features eight first class suites and 42 in business class. The average age for these jets is eight years.
A special ‘quirk’ of 2020 (and perhaps 2021) is that 10 of the airline’s 777-300ERs are flying as makeshift freighters. The economy seating for these aircraft has been removed to allow for 17 tonnes or 132 cubic meters of additional cargo capacity per flight. This is in addition to the 40-50 tonne cargo capacity in the belly hold.
It’s a bit of a grey area for counting aircraft in a fleet when it comes to its cargo division. As an ‘airline group,’ Emirates does have several 777F (freighters) that fly with Emirates SkyCargo. There are a total of 11, with 10 listed as ‘in-service’ and one ‘parked.’ The average age of these freighters is 7.4 years old.
The one exception
If we want to be thorough, we have to mention the single Airbus A319 that Emirates offers as a special charter.
Launched in 2013, the airline makes the jet available for VIPs, organizations, and other uses for high wealth individuals who want the full Emirates experience without actually flying commercial.
With the airline expecting 787s and A350s in the coming years, are you looking forward to the additional diversity? Or do you enjoy the two-type fleet that Emirates currently has? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.