Emirates, a global connector of people and places, operates the world’s largest fleets of A380s and Boeing 777s, and to serve these aircraft, it runs the world’s largest state-of-the-art aircraft paint hangar owned by an airline.
Located at DubaiInternationalAirport, Emirates’ paint hanger is more than twice the size of a football field, and has been designed to deliver quality that exceeds even the standards of aircraft manufacturers.
In 2013, Emirates’ advanced paint hangar completely stripped 21 aircraft (or nearly 10% of its fleet) of exterior paint and gave them a brand new coat. It took 6,550 hours in total, or 273 days and nights of non-stop stripping and repainting, to complete these “make-overs”. In addition to these major projects, the paint shop was kept fully engaged with over 60,000 other paint touch-up jobs on the exteriors and interiors of the aircraft, as well as cabin items.
“Our aircraft livery is one of the most recognisable and visible aspects of our brand. It is what people see in the sky, and the first thing our passengers see at their boarding gates,” said Adel Al Redha, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Emirates.
“It’s not just about looking good. The paint coat has to withstand fierce weather conditions, including severe wind, bitter cold and searing heat, and an exterior coat that is clean of debris and imperfections improves aerodynamics and reduces fuel consumption. Emirates already flies a young and efficient fleet, but with fuel prices at consistently high levels, every little bit of efficiency counts,” he added.
Emirates previously had a minor paint booth in its Dubai hub to manage minor jobs while outsourcing the big projects to an external supplier. Building its own paint hanger has helped the airline to better control total quality, and co-ordinate flight operations scheduling. Since the paint hangar started operations in August 2010, it has completed 59 full aircraft “strip-and-repaint” projects and several hundred thousand aircraft component paintings.
After every seven to eight years in service, Emirates fully strips its aircraft of their exterior colour and gives them a brand-new coat. A Boeing 777 requires a team of 26 to 30 people for a full strip-and-repaint project, which is turned around in just 12 to 13 days.
Emirates’ paint hanger operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It employs highly skilled and specialised staff for this purpose, and uses the latest technologies and systems including fully-controlled environments that regulate temperature, humidity and airflow – all of which are critical factors for the perfect glossy coat.
Emirates’ first A380, which entered service in August 2008, will be due for a full repaint in 2015. Emirates operates the largest fleet of A380 with 44 in total and an additional 96 on order. It also operates the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 777s with 132 in service and 210 more on order.
To watch the video of the “make-over”, please visit: http://youtu.be/T3RRPQ_Csss
Emirates operates daily scheduled flights from Malta to Dubai. On Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays Emirates flies via Larnaka, Cyprus, while on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, the airline operates direct flights from Dubai to Malta and return flights fly via Tripoli.