Sky-high ambition: the rise and rise of Emirates Airline

How Dubai's flag carrier grew into the world's largest airline and aviation's biggest success story
Inaugral flight2.jpg
1 of 16
On October 25, 1985, the first Emirates flight EK600 departed from Dubai International for Karachi (Image credit: Emirates Airline)
inaugral flight4.jpg
2 of 16
In 1978, UK-based Maurice Flanagan moved to Dubai to head dnata. Six years later, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Flanagan discussed launching an airline in Dubai (Image credit: Emirates Airline)
Inaugral flight.jpg
3 of 16
Flanagan and his team produced a business plan for the new airline – to be named either Dubai Airlines or Emirates airline. Sheikh Mohammed opted for Emirates (Image credit: Emirates Airline)
inaugral flight3.jpg
4 of 16
Emirates became profitable within its first nine months of launch (Image credit: Emirates Airline)
5 of 16
Emirates celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, marking a quarter of a century of success and remarkable growth (Image credit: Emirates Airline)
6 of 16
Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, dated around 1985 (Image credit: Emirates Airline)
7 of 16
In 1991, Emirates got a slot at the busiest international hub in the world – London Heathrow (Getty Images)
8 of 16
In Oct 2008, Emirates-dedicated Terminal 3 opened and within a month 500,000 passengers had flown out the terminal (Getty Images)
9 of 16
The Emirates Group posted a record profit of AED5.9bn for the financial year ending 31 March 2011 (Getty Images)
Airbus A380 superjumbo.jpg
10 of 16
Today, Emirates has a fleet of 162 aircraft flying to 116 destinations and has a further 243 planes on order worth over $84bn (Getty Images)
11 of 16
Its number of cabin crew rose to over 12,000 for the first time in 2011 (Getty Images)
old airport 1.jpg
12 of 16
View of Dubai airport in the early 1950s (Image credit: Dubai Airports)
old airport early 50's 3.jpg
13 of 16
An honour guard waits outside\nDubai airport in this photo taken in the 1950s (Image credit: Dubai Airports)
old airport early 1980's.jpg
14 of 16
Coming of age: Dubai International Airport in\nthe 1980s (Image credit: Dubai Airports)
old airport early 50's 2.jpg
15 of 16
A view of the Dubai Airport in 1950s. Through the first ten months of 2011, passenger numbers at the Dubai Airport totalled 41,855,561 (Image credit: Dubai Airports)
old airport early 50's 4.jpg
16 of 16
A 1950s view of an untitled plane off Dubai's coast(Image credit: Dubai Airports)