Emirates A380 touched down in Islamabad on Sunday for a historic one-off service to Islamabad International Airport.
It was the first time ever that the iconic double-decker aircraft had landed in Pakistan. The landing demonstrated the airport’s readiness to accommodate the A380, the world’s largest commercial passenger jet.
The special Emirates A380 flight was operated by UAE national captain Abbas Shaban, chief pilot of Technical Operations and Pakistani national, first officer Qadir Moin.
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,Gulf, Middle East and Iran.
They were joined by Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al Zaabi, the UAE Ambassador to Pakistan and Moazzam Ahmad Khan, Pakistan Ambassador to the UAE.
Upon landing at 1210hrs at Islamabad International Airport, the aircraft was met with a ceremonial water cannon salute, and the Emirates delegation was welcomed by government officials and Islamabad International Airport executives.
Sheikh Majid Al Mualla said: “We are proud to have operated the special A380 flight to Islamabad, the first time ever that our flagship aircraft 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 October 25,1985.
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.
Hundreds of passengers travelled on the special flight, many of whom had made their bookings specially for the unique flight. The passengers on board began their journeys from 25 countries reflecting Emirates’ global mix of customers, who will benefit from the route.
The Emirates A380 aircraft that operated the special one-off service to Islamabad was set in a two-class configuration offering spacious seats in Economy Class and fully flat-bed seats in Business Class as well as Emirates’ popular onboard lounge.
Passengers in all classes enjoyed free Wi-Fi to stay in touch with family and friends and Emirates’ multi-award winning in-flight entertainment system ice with up to 3,500 channels of movies, TV programmes, music and podcasts on the industry’s biggest personal screens in each class of travel.