Emirates has completed a one-off flight to mark the UAE Year of Tolerance today, and the flight has broken a Guinness World Record. Operating as EK2019, the flight lasted just 90 minutes but contained the most nationalities ever recorded on an aircraft. In total, there were 145 nationalities represented on the Airbus A380, which was wearing a very special livery to mark the occasion.
The special flight was to be operated by an Emirates A380, registered A6-EVB. This is one of the younger A380s in the fleet, having been delivered to Emirates in November 2018.
Arriving at the airport, passengers were greeted with a dedicated check-in counter and, of course, plenty of photo ops. Each was given a special celebratory boarding pass, stamped with the EK2019 #yearoftolerance graphic. Every passenger was also invited to write down their name along with their nationality to add to a board celebrating the flight.
EK2019 took off at just after 12pm local time today from Dubai (DXB). The entire flight was to last only an hour and a half, returning to Dubai at 13:40. The A380 remained at a low altitude throughout the flight, maintaining just below 7,000 feet for most of the trip. Prior to landing, it raised its altitude to 7,850 feet as it cruised over the Persian Gulf.
During the flight, the aircraft passed over all seven of the emirates of the UAE, a further nod to togetherness and a feeling of tolerance among those of different backgrounds. At that low altitude, the passengers must have had some amazing aerial views.
Sam Chui captured the vibrancy of the event in a wonderful video posted to Twitter:
— Sam Chui (@SamChuiPhotos) November 29, 2019
As the flight was descending, the official Guinness World Records adjudicator confirmed that nationality accounts had been verified and that there were more nationalities on this plane than on any ever before. In total, 145 nationalities were represented among the 541 passengers.
Talal Omar, Director for MENA at Guinness World Records said,
“We congratulate both the UAE and Emirates Airline for making history today. This achievement reflects the keen to spread the spirit of tolerance and show the real image of moderation. The UAE has always been a place of peace and coexistence for people from different backgrounds regardless of their religion, ethnicity, or gender. It is inspiring to see all these people coming together to create an environment that celebrates diversity and understanding. Congratulations Emirates Airline, you are Officially Amazing™.”
And it wasn’t just the passengers who demonstrated diversity either. The flight crew was comprised of two UAE nationals and one German, while the 22 cabin crew represented 18 countries between them.
What do you make of the flight of tolerance? Let us know in the comments.