Dubai-based airline Emirates has revealed that it renovated 21 aircraft in its fleet last year, repainting them at the world's biggest aircraft paint hangar owned by an airline, at Dubai International Airport.
The paintshop, which is larger than two football fields, saw a total of 6,550 hours of work in 2013 to complete these large-scale repaint jobs on 10% of the carrier's fleet. In addition, Emirates ordered 60,000 smaller paint jobs to be done on its aircraft. The first Airbus A380 of the airline, which Emirates started flying in 2008, is scheduled for a full strip-and-paint job next year, in accordance with Emirates' tradition of stripping and repainting every plane in its fleet every seven or eight years of service.
The executive vice president and chief operations officer of the carrier, Adel Al Redha, commented that the airline takes pride in the appearance of its planes as their livery is the most recognisable aspect of the Emirates brand. Besides, he said, it is not just about the look: aircraft paint needs to be strong enough to withstand harsh weather conditions such as strong winds and very low and very high temperatures. Also, debris-free coating makes for better aerodynamics and saves fuel.
The paint hangar started operating in 2010 and since then it has done 59 complete aircraft strip-and-repaint jobs along with several hundred thousand paintings of aircraft components. The paintshop works around the clock, seven days a week. A Boeing 777 takes a team of 26 to 30 people to strip and repaint it and the work usually takes around 12 to 13 days for one aircraft.
Stuart Mennell | Client Partner MEA