Emirates’ A380 Year Of Tolerance Flight Sets A World Record

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.

Emirates year of tolerance flight
EK2019 had the most nationalities on board of any flight. Photo: Emirates

The flight

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.

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Emirates year of tolerance flight
The 90-minute flight was record-breaking. Photo: Emirates

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.

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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.

Emirates year of tolerance flight
The flight crew. Photo: Emirates

Sam Chui captured the vibrancy of the event in a wonderful video posted to Twitter:

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Record-breaking

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.

Emirates year of tolerance flight
145 nationalities were on board. Photo: Emirates

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™.”

Emirates year of tolerance flight
Even the crew were a diverse bunch. Photo: Emirates

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.

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Gerry S

Flight of tolerance designed by Emirates. At one time it would be us Americans who did such things. My oh my, how the mighty have fallen. Keep it up, world and there is hope for US yet.

Aviation_Fan

That’s incredible! Awesome job to Emirates, it also is pretty good advertising.

Prabu

It’s not advertising, it’s something others were not able to pull off…. good job Emirates

jim

Flogging and stoning are legal punishments in the Emirates. Dozens of lashes can be given for offenses as trivial as kissing in public. Apostasy is punishable by death. Torture is widely employed including for foreigners suspected of drug offenses. Foreign domestic workers can face severe punishment for reporting abuse by their employers including rape. Sorry, but I find it difficult to find any words of praise for an advertising stunt that has little to do with the reality of the Emirates.

Anonymous

You are unable to see the good things around you and people like you will always live on negativity.
Good luck and take care.

rabbitoh

“anonymous” wrote this. Of course you are LOL

SAS

Apostasy is NOT illegal in the UAE. Kindly get your facts straight before commenting.

Subba Iyer Mani

A great moment in history. Hope this message spreads around the world.

Stephen787

This whole idea is insulting from the beginning. Tolerance? Really? You only “tolerate” something that you can’t stand. Where is the welcoming and inclusion of difference? Oh that’s right, it’s the Middle East where foreign worker’s passports are held for ransom, women are jailed for reporting rape, people are flogged like it’s the middle ages. This idea was rediculous from the beginning and of course Sam Chui was there with bells on. Urrrgh

Jim

Glad to see not everyone was sucked in by this cynical, hypocritical publicity stunt. What next, Iran having an inclusivity flight for gay and trans?

Sneha

I too have a hard time with this. The word “tolerance” and the UAE dont exactly go hand in hand. The way foreign workers (specially maids) are treated is dreadful, they even snatch their passports away on arrival. I know because many of my friends are Filipinos & Indians. Dubai is pretty much built by poor Indian workers , a casual search will reveal the horrible conditions they live in. And we all know how maids are treated (apart from the lucky few who end up with nice families). Until those CORE issues change then these stunts just come across… Read more »

Javiskii

I won’t buy the idea of a tolerance flight from Emirates until I can visit with my boyfriend without being wary of what could happen… Even if it’s on an A380, and it’s hard, because I’m obsessed with that plane.

Vincent Paul

I refuse to fly any airline whose base country has human rights issues, so no Emirates, Chinese or the like..

SAS

In other words, you won’t fly American airlines because right now under Trump the US is arguably one of the world’s biggest human rights violators.

robbo

Jeez stories like this do my head in! Tolerance! Holy Christ! Tolerance coming from that part of the world. UAE = LOL if it wasn’t so serious. There is nothing tolerant in homosexuals subject to criminal action, it’s illegal? That’s not tolerant is it? And whatever you do, do not kiss or hold hands in public if you are a western couple. That’s not tolerant is it? Wanna build a Christian church in UAE? No way Jose! That’s not tolerant is it? And I could go on and on. So having EK lecture us to be holier than thou with… Read more »

liam

UAE = Tolerance? It doesn’t add up.

SAS

Unfortunately you sound very intolerant in your own right. Maybe you should deal with your own xenophobia before criticising others.

Robert

Tolerance is indeed hard to swallow in the local context. Diversity would have been more appropriate.

Yvonne

What a fantastic statement to the world !

Yvonne

What a fantastic statement to the world. As a seasoned traveller it brought tears to my eyes!

SAS

I think this is a fantastic public relations event. The way Emirates has used the country’s diversity as a basis for sending a message of respect for diversity is awe inspiring and in a world full of intolerance, others can and should be inspired.

Liam

Tell that to the exploited expat workers in Dubai. A city built using what amounts to slave labour.

Marc Mühlbrandt

What about Israel?