Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

Emirates’ journey started in 1985 when Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, gave $10 million to the Emirates team to start an airline in five months. Pakistan International Airlines agreed to wet-lease Emirates two aircraft – an Airbus 300 and Boeing 737 – and on October 25 EK600, pictured, departed Dubai International for Karachi, its first commercial flight. Courtesy Emirates

Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

Later in the year, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid gave Emirates two Boeing 727-200s. Courtesy Emirates

Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

The first passengers board the first Emirates flight in 1985. Courtesy Emirates


Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

A ticket stub from the airline’s first flight. Courtesy Emirates

Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

The red carpet was rolled out for the inaugural flight in 1985. Courtesy Emirates

Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

The first flight departs the mainland and heads for India. Courtesy Emirates

Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum, second from the left, became chairman of Emirates when the airline was launched. He was also appointed President of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation in the same year. He is currently chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group. To the right is Maurice Flanagan. He moved to Dubai in 1978 to run dnata and later became managing director of Emirates airline and then of the Emirates Group. he stepped down as executive vice-chairman in 2013 and passed away earlier this year. Courtesy Emirates

Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

The first flight arrives in Karachi. Courtesy Emirates

Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

The crew on board an Emirates flight are all smiles. Emirates took delivery of its first bought aircraft, an Airbus 310 in 1987. The Airbus A310-300 was designed to Emirates specifications. Courtesy Emirates

Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

Emirates cabin crew in the 1980s. The 1990 Emirates ordered three more Airbus A310-300s at the Asean Aerospace exhibition in Singapore.

Then, in 1991, it began services to the busiest international hub in the world – London Heathrow before ordering seven Boeing 777s, with an option for seven more. Courtesy Emirates

Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

Sheikh Ahmed holds a phone onboard an Emirates flight in 1993. In 1992, Emirates became the first airline to install video systems in all seats in all classes throughout its Airbus fleet. In the same year it started flights to Charles de Gaulle in Paris and opened an exclusive Emirates terminal at Dubai International Airport. It also became the first airline to order a $20 million Airbus full-flight simulator. In 1993 it became the first airline to introduce telecommunications on all of its Airbus aircraft – in all three classes. The following year it was the first airline to equip an Airbus fleet with an on-flight fax facility. Courtesy Emirates

Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

Emirates’ first video system pictured in 1992. Courtesy Emirates

Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

Passengers enjoy the new video system. Courtesy Emirates

Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

First class passengers were able te recline and enjoy the visual entertainment from 1992. Courtesy Emirates

Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

The video system included the soon-to-become classic film Home Alone. Courtesy Emirates

Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

A passenger adjusts the video system. In 1996, Emirates took delivery of its first Boeing 777-200 and became the first airline to show live footage of take-off and landing on its in-flight entertainment system. Courtesy Emirates

Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

In 2000, Emirates was the first airline to sign up for the Airbus A380, pictured, when it ordered seven, with an option on five more, at the Farnborough Air Show. It also bought another six Boeing 777-300s. In 2001, it signed a £24 million deal to sponsor English Premiership football club Chelsea for four years, and announced a $15 billion order for 15 A380s, eight A340-600s, three A330s and 25 Boeing 777s. In 2003, it broke records at the Paris Air Show with an order for 71 aircraft at a cost of $19 billion. In the same year it launched ice, making it the first airline to offer more than 500 channels of in-flight entertainment on demand in all classes, the widest choice in the skies. In 2007, Captain Abbas Shaban, a UAE National, was the first pilot qualified to fly the A380, which the airline took delivery of in 2008. AFP

Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid descends the stairs of an A380 cargo plane on arrival at Dubai World Central, Al Maktoum International Airport which opened on June 27, 2010 with the aim of becoming the world’s busiest. Emirates SkyCargo moved its freighter operations to DWC in 2014. AP Photo

Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

An Emirates A380 soars during the Dubai Air Show in 2013. That year Concourse A, the world’s first purpose built A380 concourse, opened its doors at Dubai International Airport. The giant building with 20 A380 gates was over 800m long. Emirates rewrote aviation history with an order for 200 aircraft – 150 Boeing 777Xs and 50 A380s, costing US$99 billion. AFP

Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

Dubai International Airport is now the busiest in the world for international passenger traffic. It projects annual passenger traffic of 79 million for 2015. Pawan Singh / The National

Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

Tim Clark became Emirates president in 2003, having joined in 1985 as head of airline planning. He has seen Emirates’ brand value grow for four consecutive years to $6.6bn with the airline named the most valuable airline brand in the world. It now has a cabin crew of more than 20,000. Pawan Singh / The National

Emirates through the years: Dubai airline’s journey through time – in pictures

Emirates, now with a route network of 140 cities, and 267 aircraft on order worth $128 billion, rolled out its new television advert featuring Friends star Jennifer Aniston earlier this month. Courtesy Emirates video

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