In April, we followed the Emirates Airbus A380 fleet for a day, tracking their then 75-strong fleet. Since April, Emirates has inaugurated new routes—both long and short—and grown their A380 fleet to 88. With this in mind, we decided to check in with the world’s largest A380 fleet.

At 88 aircraft, the Emirates A380 fleet is four and a half times the size of the next largest A380 fleet operated by Singapore Airlines. Emirates accounts for 43% of operating A380s and 46% of outstanding orders.

On 1 December, the Emirates fleet flew 555 flights, of which A380s performed 154. 77 different aircraft traveled to 42 different airports. Of those 154 A380 flights, 138 either took off or landed in Dubai.

All single-day data from 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Distance Records

Emirates now holds the records for world’s longest and shortest A380 flights, with the longest A380 flight also part of the world’s longest route overall.

The World’s Longest Route

EK448/449, the longest flight in the world at 14,216 km
EK448/449, the longest route in the world at 14,216 km

The world’s longest A380 flight and the world’s longest route overall is operated by Emirates between Dubai and Auckland as EK448/449. With a great circle distance of 14,216 km, the flight averages 15 hours 18 minutes to Auckland and 16 hours 47 minutes on the return to Dubai. Because of winds, the flight to Auckland takes a more southerly routing, while the flight back to Dubai travels through northern Australia, Malaysia, and India.

While Dubai-Auckland is the world’s longest route, the world’s longest single flight currently belongs to Air India, which flies Delhi-San Francisco via a Pacific routing to take advantage of tailwinds. Read more about Air India’s flight.

The World’s Shortest A380 Flight

The world’s shortest A380 flight, Dubai-Doha
The world’s shortest A380 flight, Dubai-Doha

Emirates also flies the world’s shortest A380 flight, operating a daily service between Dubai and Doha, a distance of just 378 km, or roughly 38 times shorter than the Dubai-Auckland route. The flight between Dubai and Doha averages 41 minutes, cruising at 20,000 feet for 15 minutes, before beginning its descent. In contrast, EK449 is at cruise altitude for approximately 15 hours.

Read about the world’s shortest regular international flight, which averages 8 minutes.

The Longest Fully Tracked Flight

EK216, which is the longest flight regularly fully tracked
EK216, which is the longest flight regularly fully tracked

An Emirates A380 also operates the longest flight that regularly remains in full Flightradar24 coverage. While EK448/449 currently spend a portion of their flight outside our coverage area, EK216 often remains in full coverage as it flies between Los Angeles and Dubai. EK216 is also Emirates’ second-longest flight, with a great circle distance of 13,415 km.

On the Clock

Emirates A380 flights departing on 1 December spent the equivalent of 47 days, 6 hours, 33 minutes, 37 seconds in the air. Average flight length for the day was 7 hours 22 minutes or about the length of EK366 from Dubai to Taipei. Median flight length was 6 hours 34 minutes, or the time it takes one of the six daily Emirates A380s to fly from London to Dubai.

All Emirates A380 flight times for 1 December 2016
All Emirates A380 flight times for 1 December 2016 (click to enlarge)

The A380 fleet’s average flight time is about 2 hours longer than the total fleet average of 5 hours 33 minutes. A380s operate the three longest flights in the Emirates schedule. The fourth, between Dubai and Houston was formerly operated by an A380, but is now flown by a 777-300ER.

Tracking the Emirates A380 Fleet

Emirates A380s in flight around the world
Emirates A380s in flight around the world

There are multiple ways to track the Emirates A380 fleet on and in our mobile apps. On the web, visit our Emirates data page for a full list of their A380 fleet and to see which aircraft are currently active. To see Emirates A380s on the map on the web or in our apps, use callsign filter ‘UAE’ and aircraft filter ‘A38’.


Featured image by Eric Dunetz

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