Emirates turns 32: A brief history of UAE’s favourite airline

Over 1,500 Emirates planes fly out of Dubai every week

Emirates turns 32: A brief history of UAE's favourite airline

October 25, 1985, marks a special day in the history of UAE. On this day, 32 years ago, the first Emirates flight took off.

Flight number EK 600 flew with UAE royal dignitaries on board from Dubai to Karachi at 11.45am. Two other planes also took flight to the Indian cities of Mumbai and Delhi.

Today, Emirates has a fleet of over 230 aircraft, flying millions of passengers to over 150 destinations in more than 80 countries.

Let’s look at the timeline of the airline’s successful history:


–   dnata is established by the Dubai government with just five staff to provide ground handling services at the new Dubai International Airport.


–  His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, opens the airport and implements innovative open-skies policy.


–   Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Maurice Flanagan, director and general manager of dnata, discuss launching an airline in Dubai. Flanagan was among a 10-man team which produces a business plan for the new airline – to be named either Dubai Airlines or Emirates airline.

–  Sheikh Mohammed opts for Emirates and the decision is made to build the airline on top of dnata, which was already the sales agent for 25 airlines.


–  Flanagan embarks on ambitious mission to launch an airline with $10 million in five months.

–  Pakistan International Airlines agrees to wet-lease Emirates two aircraft.

–  Deals are struck to fly into Karachi, New Delhi and Bombay.

–  On October 25 Flight EK600 departs Dubai International for Karachi.

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By Compiled by Sana Altaf/Dubai  https://www.khaleejtimes.com