Emirates is today taking delivery of its 100th Airbus A380 at a ceremony being held at the manufacturer's delivery centre in Hamburg.
Describing the milestone handover as "a tremendous moment", Emirates' group chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum states: "There is no doubt that the A380 has had a big positive impact on aerospace manufacturing and the broader aviation industry."
Al Maktoum credits the double-decker type with having "brought the flying experience for our customers to the next level" as the Dubai-based operator has "utilised the onboard real estate to redefine the thinking around in-flight products and experience".
He adds: "For Emirates, the A380 has been a success. We've been able to utilise it at slot-constrained airports, as well as at regional and ‘secondary’ airports where we have grown passenger demand.
"Each time we deploy an A380 on to a route, it typically stimulates further traffic and demand as travellers are attracted by our flagship A380 experience. We remain committed to the programme and will work closely with Airbus and our partners to continually enhance our A380 product as we look ahead to receiving our remaining 42 aircraft on order."
Some 85 million passengers have flown on an Emirates A380, and Airbus estimates that the Dubai carrier's orders for the type support 41,000 "direct, indirect and induced jobs" in Europe, including some 14,500 in Germany.
The manufacturer's chief executive Tom Enders acknowledges that Emirates has been "integral" to the A380 programme. "It is a source of immense satisfaction for everyone at Airbus that such a visionary airline has believed in the A380 from the beginning and chosen it as its flagship and the backbone of its operations."
Enders describes Dubai as "the world's most dynamic air transport hub".
Powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines, Emirates' 100th A380 is configured in a three-class layout, with 14 private suites in first class, 76 seats in business and 426 in economy, and is fitted with what Airbus describes as "the airline's newly revamped onboard lounge". The aircraft will be on display at the Dubai air show, taking place between 12 and 16 November, and will enter service afterwards.
It is painted in special livery that homages Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who presided over the formation of the United Arab Emirates. Al Maktoum notes that 2018 has been designated the "Year of Zayed", marking 100 years since Al Nahyan's birth.