Emirates makes history as world’s largest plane A380 lands at Islamabad International Airport
In a landmark moment in Pakistan’s aviation history, the world’s largest passenger plane, Emirates‘ A380, landed at the new Islamabad International Airport on Sunday afternoon.
This was the first time ever that the iconic double-decker aircraft has landed in Pakistan.
The Emirates’ special one-off A380 flight to Islamabad took off from Dubai on Sunday morning with celebrities, officials and journalists on board. The flight arrived in Islamabad at 12:10pm (PST) with 625 on board.
The special Emirates A380 flight was operated by UAE national, Capt Abbas Shaban, Chief Pilot of Technical Operations and Pakistani national, First Officer Qadir Moin.
The aircraft received a ceremonial water cannon salute on the first arrival at the new Islamabad International Airport.
The Emirates delegation was warmly welcomed by government officials and Islamabad International Airport executives and the government officials, VIPs, media and members of the travel industry were given a guided tour of the A380 by Emirates cabin crew after the ceremony.
The special flight, operating as EK 2524, was joined by a VIP delegation led by Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Centre and Adil Al Ghaith, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, GMEI (Gulf, Middle East and Iran). They were joined by His Excellency Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al Zaabi, the UAE Ambassador to Pakistan and His Excellency Moazzam Ahmad Khan, Pakistan Ambassador to the UAE.
Two Pakistani members of Emirates’ first ever team, Captain Fazle Ghani, the airline’s first Chief Pilot and Team Lead for Inaugural Operations and Captain Ejaz ul Haq, one of the pilots who operated the first ever Emirates flights from Dubai 33 years ago, also traveled on the flight as special guests.
Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Centre said: “We are proud to have operated this special A380 flight to Islamabad, the first time ever that our flagship aircraft has landed in Pakistan. The Emirates A380 is fundamental to our overall strategy, and bringing this popular aircraft to Islamabad represents a significant milestone in our operations to Pakistan, a country we flew our first ever flight to in 1985. We are very keen to now launch a scheduled A380 service to Pakistan and will continue to work with authorities to make these plans a reality.”
Emirates and Pakistan have a long-standing relationship that spans over 30 years, when the airline’s first flight flew from Dubai to Karachi on 25 October 1985.
Since then, Emirates has grown exponentially in Pakistan, and today the airline operates 71 weekly flights between Dubai and six cities in Pakistan: Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Sialkot and Multan, offering Pakistani travellers convenient access to over 150 global destinations. Emirates also employs over 5,000 Pakistani nationals as Flight Deck crew, Cabin Crew and in various others positions across the airline.
The new Islamabad International Airport, the biggest airport facility in Pakistan, started operating at full capacity in the beginning of May 2018.
Photo courtesy: Emirates