Emirates celebrates 30 years of UK operations

Emirates Airbus A380
Emirates Airbus A380

Emirates is celebrating 30 years of UK operations, providing UK passengers and cargo links to the world since the first flight from Gatwick Airport on 6 July 1987.

The airline started the service in 1987 using an Airbus A310, at a time when it had six aircraft in its fleet and six other destinations.

The UK network has since grown with flights to Manchester in 1990, Heathrow in 1991, Birmingham in 2000, Glasgow in 2004 and Newcastle following in 2007.

Emirates SkyCargo flies 140,000 tonnes of cargo in and out of the UK in an average year, with key commodities including Scottish salmon, whisky, oilwell parts, healthcare and pharma products, and British food.

It has also carried 60 luxury vehicles from Heathrow using its SkyWheels service since 1 April.

Emirates UK vice president, Laurie Berryman says: “The last 30 years have been an incredible journey for us at Emirates. We’ve grown our UK presence to serve more passengers with the latest, most comfortable wide-body aircraft, flying more people and more British exports to more places around the world.”

Emirates operates Airbus A380s on all six daily flights from Heathrow, all three from Gatwick and Manchester and one of its three from Birmingham, with all other flights operated by Boeing 777s.

A 2015 study by Frontier Economics found that Emirates flights to and from the UK had a GDP impact of €2.7 billion and supported 29,700 direct, indirect and induced jobs in the UK.