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Emirates: compensation stories, facts and history

Friday, November 15, 2019

Hello! Welcome to our facts and history series. This time, we will focus on Emirates, one of the ME3 (the 3 biggest Middle East airlines), the carrier whose development has taken the industry by storm and which operates from its base in the United Arab Emirates.

Emirates: their history in a timeline

The airline was founded in 1985, flying only two aircraft between Dubai’s International airport and Karachi. Emirates has established its dominance especially with long-haul flights, becoming one of the most popular airlines for UK travellers for travelling to Dubai. It is renown for its luxurious and extraordinary First Class service and ‘going the extra mile’ for its customers.

1985 – Emirates is founded. The first flight connects Dubai to Karachi. The airline has a fleet size of 2 aeroplanes.

1986 – The airline expands its network to Amman, Cairo, Colombo and Dhaka.

1987 – The Emirati airline acquires connections to the West through Istanbul, Gatwick airport, Frankfurt and other European destinations.

1989 – The airline adds two more destinations to its network: Manila and Bangkok.

1990 – Sheikh Ahmed gifts the airline two more aircraft (A310-300s)

1993 – Emirates is the first airline to implement the possibility of making phone calls from an aeroplane.

1996 – The airline acquires its first Boeing 777-200.

1998 – Emirates passenger numbers hit 3.7 million and cargo freight increases to 200 thousand tonnes. Emirates is voted the best airline in the world according to an OAG award.

2000 – The air carrier becomes the first airline to order the Airbus A380, purchasing 7 aircraft.

2002 – Emirates becomes the airline of the year once more.

2004 – The airline operates its first flight to North America.

2005 – Emirates becomes the biggest employer in Dubai, employing a fair share of the city’s workforce.

2008 – The airline moves into the new prestigious Emirates Group HQ

2009 – Emirates becomes the worlds largest operator of the Boeing 777s.

2010 – Emirates celebrates its 25th Birthday and new routes to Europe are inaugurated.

2013 – London Heathrow to Dubai becomes a popular route for the A380.

2016 – Emirates is awarded the Skytrax prize for best in-flight entertainment and Worlds Best Airline once again.

Emirates: Facts and Figures

Emirates aeroplane

At we love fun facts and interesting numbers, as we are always up to date on any flight data! For this blog, we gathered information from our own flight statistics as well as the official Emirates website.

Size of the fleet: 269 aircraft (7 additional ordered)

Total passengers transported so far in 2019: 29.6 million passengers

On-Time Performance: According to OAG, the OTP for Emirates was at 83.2% and cancellation rates at 0.1%. This means that you can rest assured that your flight won’t be cancelled when flying Emirates. However, perhaps you should prepare for arriving a tad later than expected. For comparison, the best OTPs in the industry are around 87% of flights operated on time.

Destinations: 155 destinations in over 80 different countries

Emirates: Did you know that?

Have you heard that on any Emirates flight the crew will speak between 8 and 18 different languages? Regardless of where in the world you are from and whichever language you may speak, the likelihood that an Emirates cabin crew attendant will speak your language is well above 50%!

Another fact that many football fans might be aware of is that Emirates is a sponsor for popular football teams such as Real Madrid and Arsenal.

Curious Emirates facts and remarkable stories

As one of the most popular airlines worldwide for long-haul journeys, Emirates surely has been involved in extraordinary stories. We have collected some of the most interesting tales from the airline and its history. From the airline’s extraordinary First Class service to its great long-haul flight scheme, you are in for a treat!

Emirates crew from all over the world

The airline employs crew from over 150 different countries, which makes it no surprise that on every Emirates flight the crew will speak at least 9 different languages. This is no unusual thing, as the UAE is home to people from many different nationalities. In certain areas of Dubai, locals are very rare. But, did you know that the largest segment of its cabin crew, around 20.000 employees, come straight from the UK?

Dubai Airport is the third-largest airport in the World

Emirates flew its founding flight from Dubai to Karachi, establishing its dominance in the middle eastern metropolis from an early time. Nowadays, Dubai Airport receives nearly 90 million passengers on an annual basis (89.1m in 2018), making Dubai International Airport the third largest airport in the World. The Middle-Eastern airport is located perfectly between Europe, Asia and Africa, making it the perfect hub for Emirates.

Emirates trophy cabinet is full of praise

In the years 2001, 2003, 2013 and 2015, the Emirati airline was awarded the Skytrax Airline of the Year award. In the year 2017, Emirates was awarded the fourth position,  behind Qatar Airways, Singapore and ANA. This year, it was awarded the Airline with the Best In-Flight Entertainment prize for the third year in a row.

Emirates transports a lot of passengers!

According to IATA (International Air Transport Association), Emirates qualifies as the airline in the world with the highest passenger seating capacity. This comes as no surprise, considering the fact that the airline has the largest Airbus A380 fleet in the world. The A380 is the massive double-decker plane that you can recognise almost immediately at any airport.

Flying with Emirates: why it is a good decision


If we haven’t convinced you yet that Emirates is an excellent airline to fly with, then the following details definitely will. We have gathered some very compelling arguments why Emirates is the airline you should be choosing for your next long-haul flight:+

  • Emirates is a great airline if you are from a country with a very uncommon language. As mentioned above, Emirates employs an incredible amount of different nationalities, meaning that there is a great chance that you might meet someone who speaks exactly your language! It's so nice to meet people from your country, especially if you are far away from home.

  • Emirates has been commended for its in-flight entertainment by Skytrax for the third year in a row. The airline offers a stunning catalogue of 850 movies within 3500 channels. You definitely will not be bored if you choose to fly with Emirates!

  • The Arabian airline operates most of its long-haul flights by Airbus A380 aircraft, holding enough space for a first, business and economy class for many passengers. Rest assured, the aircraft is still big enough for every passenger to have the space they need.

  • If you have booked an Emirates flight from one side of the world to the other then there is a high chance that you will be taking connecting flights. This is the perfect way to break up the journey. A lot of the time you will be stopping over in Dubai, Emirates main hub. This is perfect if you wish to take a couple of days to explore the Arabic desert and the metropolis

  • Emirates is known to have a high-quality standard for food in all their classes. Many passengers have complimented the airline on their large portions the diversity of their meals, even in economy class

  • Emirates has a very luxurious First Class and upgrades passengers fairly often. You will be spoiled from the moment you arrive at the airport right all the way until you leave the airport at your final destination. Everything will be taken care of and the service on board is said to be one of the best amongst the First Class flights.

Emirates: claiming compensation

We hope you enjoyed finding out more about Emirates! Despite the airline's efficiency and professional experience, many passengers who fly with Emirates are still being delayed, cancelled or overbooked.

At we specialise in claiming the compensation that passengers are entitled to when their flights get delayed or cancelled. This can be as much as €600 per passenger! If your flight has been delayed or cancelled in the last 6 years, you can use our free flight checker to see if you are entitled to compensation. Don’t worry, use of the checker is non-committal and we have a no-win-no-fee policy (you only pay our 25% win-fee if we succeed) and we'll cover all the possible legal fees. Don't wait any longer, exercise your rights as a passenger!

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