Emirates Airline has announced that it gave nearly 10 percent of its fleet a new look during 2013 with 21 aircraft stripped and repainted.
Emirates said the work was completed at the world’s largest aircraft paint hangar located at Dubai International Airport.
The hanger is more than twice the size of a football field, and saw 6,550 hours of work in total last year, or 273 days and nights of non-stop stripping and repainting, to complete these “make-overs”.
Emirates’ first A380, which entered service in August 2008, will be due for a full repaint in 2015.
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, Emirates said in a statement.
“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. We take pride in maintaining our aircraft to the highest possible standards, and it is important our planes look pristine on the outside as well as on the inside,” 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,” 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.
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.
The hanger operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Since the airline’s launch in 1985, all Emirates aircraft wear their white coat with the iconic golden Emirates letters and tail fin in the colours of the flag of the UAE.
The branding underwent a subtle change only once in 2000. The flag was redesigned to appear as though it was flowing in the wind and the letters assumed the new Emirates typeface.