Emirates airline to only fly Airbus A380s, Boeing 777s after retiring older planes

Emirates has become the first airline in the world to only operate Airbus A380 superjumbos and long-range Boeing 777s in its passenger fleet.

The Middle East carrier recently retired its last remaining Airbus A330 and A340 planes from active service.

Emirates retired its last A330, registered A6-EAK after 14 years of service. The plane flew more than 60,000 hours and 45 million kilometres during that time.

Emirates' A380s and 777s are relatively new planes with similar interiors, both feature a 3-4-3 layout in economy class. This means passengers on the narrower 777s get one inch (2.54 centimetres) less width for their seats. Seat pitch (legroom) varies from 32 inches to 34 inches on both aircraft types, depending on the location of the seat.

See: Airline review - Emirates A380 economy class

The airline recently announced it would start flying the world's shortest A380 route from December, a 379-kilometre hop from Dubai to Doha, Qatar. The A380's maximum range is more than 15,000 kilometres.

Emirates is the largest operator of the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft with 85 Airbus A380s and 160 Boeing 777s in its fleet. The airline has 150 orders on its books for the new Boeing 777X aircraft. It's is due to take delivery of its first 777X in 2020.

The new version of the 777 is designed to compete with Airbus' A350. Boeing says the plane will be the largest and most efficient twin engine jet in the world. The interiors will feature some elements taken from the company's 787 Dreamliners, including larger windows and mood lighting.

Emirates has grown rapidly over the past decade and in 2016 alone has taken delivery of 36 new aircraft – 20 Airbus A380s and 16 Boeing 777. However, the election of Donald Trump in the US may curb the carrier's ambitions in North America.


The US aviation industry has been lobbying the federal government for some time about the influx of Middle-Eastern carriers – specifically Emirates, Etihad and Qatar – into the American market. The industry argues these carriers receive billions in unfair subsidies from their respective governments.

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See also: Cathay Pacific's last 747 jumbo jet makes final flight

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