Emirates simplifies its fleet and retires three aircraft types

Airbus A330-200 Emirates A6-EAK Photo by David Osborn

As of October 2016 Emirates will withdraw from revenue service 12 A330-300s, 4 A340-300s, 1 A340-500, 6 Boeing 777-200ERs, 2 Boeing 777-300s and 1 Boeing 777-300ER.

That is in total 26 aircraft with an average fleet age of 15.7 years, well-below the average industry retirement age of 25. In addition, 13 more aircraft will be retired in 2017 and another 13 will be retired in 2018. The last A330-200 flight is scheduled to be flight EK523 (Thiruvananthapuram-Dubai) and the last Boeing 777-200 ER flight is scheduled to operate as flight EK539 (Ahmedabad-Dubai) both on October 30, 2016.

As a replacement Emirates receives more A380’s and B777-300ER’s. These two aircraft types are recognised as some of the most efficient and quiet commercial airplanes available, emitting on average 12% less carbon dioxide than the aircraft being retired. At the end of 2016, the aircraft retirements and new deliveries will put Emirates’ average fleet age at 5.6 years, dramatically younger than the global average. A recent analysis shows the average fleet age for the top five airlines in North America is 13.6 years, while the average fleet age for the top five airlines in Europe is 10.7 years.

When delivered beginning in 2020, the new Boeing 777Xs will come with a variety of fuel efficient design additions making it almost 20% more fuel efficient than previous models. It will also include a range of passenger-focused amenities including larger windows, increased cabin pressure, more humidity, higher ceilings and a wider cabin than previous models.

In addition to reducing the age of its fleet, Emirates also implements a variety of other environmental practices that reduces CO2 emissions. These include FlexTracks, a programme that plans efficient flight route patterns based on weather conditions; single-engine taxi on the ground; idle reverse thrust upon landing; and fuel-efficient ground handling and transportation equipment.