Emirates is the national airline of the United Arab Emirates based in Dubai. It is an important part of the Emirates Group. The other main business area is Dnata, a travel agency that handles passenger and cargo services at Dubai International Airport. In recent years, Emirates Airline has received a number of awards, most recently in 2009 by Skytrax for the best in-flight entertainment.
Emirates currently operates a fleet of 144 aircraft. It consists of 55 Airbus aircraft and 89 Boeing aircraft (as of January 2010). The average age is about 5.5 years. In its 24 year history, Emirates has so far had no aircraft loss due to accidents.
Emirates started operations in 1985 with flights to Mumbai, New Delhi and Karachi. The aircraft, at that time an Airbus 300 and Boeing 727, were leased from Pakistan International Airlines. The first European destinations were served in 1987.
Emirates was one of the first airlines to order the Airbus A380 and ordered 58 aircraft of this type. The airline is the largest and most important customers of this superjumbo jet. The delivery of the first jet took place in summer 2008 in Hamburg. The company then also announced its intention to order more aircraft. Apparently 60 machines of the type A 350 and A330 have been ordered.
The airline serves some 100 destinations in 60 countries. The network extends to over 5 continents. In the United Kingdom, airports served include Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, London and Glasgow, which are all served by flights from Dubai.