First retrofitted Emirates A380 enters service


The first landmark has been reached in Emirates’ US$2 billion aircraft interiors retrofit programme, the largest known aircraft refurbishment programme in aviation history, with the first of its A380s to be completely refurbished returned into service. The aircraft was redeployed on 6th January, on the Dubai-London Heathrow service, operating as flight EK003.

The next Emirates A380 lined up for its make-over is A6-EUW, with work is expected to be completed by the end of this month. By 2024, all 67 A380s the airline has assigned for refurbishment are due to have been updated and returned into service. Emirates will then begin work on the cabins of 53 Boeing 777s, with the full programme expected to be completed in 2025.

The updated A380 aircraft interiors will feature Emirates’ latest products and interiors across all cabins, including 56 premium-economy class seats on the main deck, and new colour palettes for the carpeting and sidewall panels. On the upper deck, the first class and business-class seats will be trimmed with Emirates’ latest CMF schemes, including cream-coloured leather upholstery and lighter-toned wood finishing, similar to the airline’s ‘game changer’ product. Emirates’ signature ghaf tree motif also features throughout the interiors, including hand-stencilled panels in the First Class Shower Spa.

The ghaf tree stencilled motif is a major part of the A380 First Class Shower Spa design

Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline said of the project, “Customers will notice the difference the moment they step onboard – the spacious A380 will look and feel even more impressive and comfortable. With our latest interiors and products, this newly refurbished aircraft elevates our inflight experience in all classes of travel, and enables us to offer more Premium Economy seats to meet customer demand. I’m particularly proud that this refurbishment work was designed, conducted and completed in-house at our facilities in Dubai, to the highest standards of quality and safety.”

As the cabin retrofit programme progresses, engineers will work simultaneously on two aircraft, with one aircraft in the fleet withdrawn from service every eight days and transferred to Emirates Engineering facilities. Emirates has recruited 190 new project personnel for the programme, and is working with 48 major partners and suppliers, who have also hired hundreds of skilled workers. Teams of engineers and technicians have worked round the clock, taking apart the entire interior of the A380 and refitting the parts again in a carefully planned and tested sequence.

Emirates’ first-class seats are being trimmed in new leathers with a refreshed colour scheme

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About Author


Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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