In a bid to showcase its world-class onboard product and service to its Sri Lankan market, the award-winning Emirates airline flew its third-generation A380-800 aircraft from Dubai to Colombo and back on August 14.
This 21st century twin-deck aircraft with upgraded fly-by-wire technology is the world's largest and most spacious aircraft with the quietest cabin in the sky.
It's two passenger levels offer an entire deck worth of additional space. The return flight EK 655 from Colombo to Dubai at 10:10 pm on August 14, for instance, carried a full load of passengers with 14 in First Cass, 76 in Business Class and 429 in Economy Class.
Apart from passenger loads, the A380 is the aircraft of the century for its cleaner, greener, quieter and smarter technology, as the aircraft sets the bar for its low fuel consumption and noise level and reduced CO2 and NOx emissions.
The A380 has innovative cabin air supply technology with cabin air regulated every two minutes to keep the atmosphere fresh while natural light is provided by 220 windows.
Six high-level air outlets as opposed to the industry standard of two keep customers refreshed throughout the flight.
A wide staircase takes premium passengers to the Business Class and First Class zones.
A special feature of the Emirates' A380 is the onboard lounge for First and Business Class passengers. The lounge creates a comfortable ambience with passengers chatting on sofas or standing around the bar enjoying the finest premium spirits, wines and delicious canapés. A 42 inch LCD screen shows the aircraft’s position and views from its external cameras.
Business Class on the A380 features has a seat configuration of 1-2-1 so that every passenger has easy aisle access. Seats are spacious and comfortable and extend to form a fully-flat bed. Each seat has a mini bar, large personal table for work if needed, separate foot rest extension (electrically operated), storage space for laptop and shoes, adjustable headrests and noise cancellation headsets. Each seat has dual USB ports too.
Each Business Class seat has a 20 inch high definition LCD screen. Emirates 'ice' (information, communication and entertainment) system can be accessed in three ways: by using the LCD screen itself, using the touch-screen wireless controller for inflight entertainment and seat control or the individual phone. ice offers over 2,500 on demand channels with over 500 movies, over 1,000 hours of TV programmes, over 1,000 hours of music and podcast channels and over 100 video games. ice is available in all classes onboard.
An in-seat phone can be used to call passengers onboard as well as outsiders, send an sms and email. Free wifi (upto 10mb) is available on the A380 for all three classes. Among other comforts, First Class has a door to each seat ensuring privacy as well as shower spas.
Champagne or fruit juice was served before departure on Business Class. Dinner was a six-course meal served on Royal Doulton bone china. Canapés or mixed nuts accompanied aperitifs. An extensive selection of complimentary drinks was served throughout the flight.
Dubai International's airport's vast Terminal 3 is dedicated to Emirates flights. Special A380 aerobridges enable passengers to disembark from the upper deck. A train takes passengers from Immigration to baggage collection. Emirates says the launch of Terminal 3 in 2008 is the most successful launch of a terminal of its size.
Emirates has 96 A380s which fly to 48 destinations, a third of its global network. There are 23,000 A380 crew and onboard the August 14 flight, the crew comprised 19 different nationalities bearing testament to Emirates being the fastest growing international airline. While incorporating world-class standards, Emirates is committed to ensuring a cosmopolitan crew and cuisine to cater to its passengers on individual routes.
In all, Emirates has 259 aircraft with more on order and serves 157 destinations (including 16 cargo-only points) across six continents. Over 100 international airlines have flights to Dubai and more than 78 million passengers pass through its airport annually. Emirates is the largest foreign airline operating out of Colombo with 27 flights via Male to Dubai and 7 flights to Singapore which offer easy connections onward to Melbourne.
Sources : dailynews