Emirates (Arabic: طَيَران الإمارات DMG: Ṭayarān Al-Imārāt) is an airline based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The airline is a subsidiary of The Emirates Group, which is wholly owned by the government of Dubai's Investment Corporation of Dubai. It is the largest airline in the Middle East, operating over 3,600 flights per week from its hub at Dubai International Airport, to more than 140 cities in 81 countries across six continents. Cargo activities are undertaken by Emirates SkyCargo.
An Emirates A380-800 (A6-EUE) taking off from New York JFK Airport.
Emirates is the world's fourth largest airline by scheduled revenue passenger-kilometers flown, the fourth-largest in terms of international passengers carried, and the second-largest in terms of freight tonne kilometers flown. Emirates had the longest non-stop commercial flight from Dubai to Auckland until it was surpassed by Qatar Airways flying from Doha to Auckland.
During the mid-1980s, Gulf Air began to cut back its services to Dubai. As a result, Emirates was conceived in March 1985 with backing from Dubai's royal family, with Pakistan International Airlines providing two of the airline's first aircraft on wet-lease. With $10 million in start-up capital it was required to operate independently of government subsidy. Pakistan International Airlines provided training facilities to Emirates' cabin crew in its academy. The airline was headed by Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the airline's present chairman. In the years following its founding, the airline expanded both its fleet and its destinations. In October 2008, Emirates moved all operations at Dubai International Airport to Terminal 3.
Emirates operates a mixed fleet of Airbus and Boeing wide-body aircraft and is one of the few airlines to operate an all-wide-body aircraft fleet. As of September 2016, Emirates is the largest Airbus A380 operator with 96 planes in service and a further 46 in orders. Since their introduction, the Airbus A380 has become an integral part of Emirates fleet, especially on long-haul high-traffic routes. Emirates is also the world's largest Boeing 777 operator with over 130 planes in service.