Emirates has said it is busy protecting and preparing the world’s largest all wide-body fleet to take to the skies. This could have proved daunting, but Emirates Engineering, a division of the airline and one of the world’s most technologically advanced aircraft maintenance facilities, has it all covered – literally.
Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President Engineering, Ahmed Safa said, “Emirates moves to a different drumbeat – one where the highest standards are absolutely fundamental to our entire organisational rhythm. Everything we do ladders up to ensuring the best customer experience and people feeling safe and reassured while flying with us.
“That philosophy also extends to our Engineering team and how we maintain and secure our multibillion dollar fleet with the world’s largest number of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s.
“We don’t just cover our engines, but have a comprehensive aircraft parking and reactivation programme that strictly follows manufacturers’ guidelines and maintenance manuals, and we have enhanced standards and protocols of our own.
“We also have the enviable challenge of a full wide-body fleet – 115 A380s and 155 B777s – and the most sophisticated systems and avionics in the industry. While a narrow-body aircraft only requires around 3-4 employees working for eight hours or so to cover it, our aircraft need 4-6 employees working a 12-hour shift. And taking extra precautions while maintaining social distancing adds its own interesting twist to the proceedings.”
Of the 270 aircraft in its fleet, Emirates had initially parked and wrapped up 218 aircraft – 117 at Dubai World Central and 101 at Dubai International airport – that involved more than 15,500 man-hours of work.
Now around 75 Emirates aircraft, both passenger and freighter, are crisscrossing the planet carrying people on repatriation and cargo on essential missions. These continue to be maintained as per standard operating procedures. Some aircraft are undergoing scheduled heavy maintenance in Emirates Engineering’s hangars.
Routinely, Emirates covers all aircraft that are taken out of operations for more than 48 hours. Much before the pandemic, Emirates has had to cover a significant part of its fleet during the runway closures at Dubai International airport, and even during the 2010 volcanic ash cloud disaster that partially grounded the fleet.