DALLAS — Emirates (EK) has returned its first newly refurbished Airbus A380 to service. Operating flight EK003 today, January 6, 2023, the first airframe to receive the upgrade (A6-EVM) has been put to work on the airline’s flagship service from Dubai (DXB) to London Heathrow (LHR).
The ambitious two-year interior refurbishment program, the largest in aviation history, began in November last year. All of EK’s A380 fleet will get the US$2bn upgrade. 190 new project personnel were recruited by the airline to carry out the work. The next airframe to be upgraded will be the A6-EUW. Work is expected to be completed by the end of January.
High Standard Refurb
Speaking of the upgrade, EK boss Sir Tim Clark said, “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. It reflects the world-class aviation capabilities and infrastructure that exists within Emirates, and here in the UAE.”
Eventually, EK engineers will begin working on two airframes simultaneously. According to the airline, this means that ‘one aircraft in the fleet will be withdrawn from service every eight days and transferred to Emirates Engineering facilities.’
The plan is that 67 A380s will be upgraded by 2024, and work will then begin on the airline’s Boeing 777 fleet. The whole program is expected to be completed by 2025.
Featured Image: The second A380 refurb is expected to be completed by the end of the month. Photo: Francesco Cecchetti/Airways.