An Emirates aircraft, with its distinctive livery featuring a stylised version of the UAE’s national flag on the tailfin and the bold gold lettering in Emirates’ very own typeface, is instantly recognisable. But Emirates also has a massive fleet of special liveries featuring large decals that cover huge sections of the fuselage.
The decals have often been used to celebrate Emirates’ sponsorship of major global sports teams – like the Real Madrid and Arsenal liveries or a special ICC Cricket World Cup decal. These flying billboards have also been used to raise awareness of fantastic causes such as the United for Wildlife decal which featured seven endangered species to highlight the scrouge of the illegal wildlife trade.
We’ve also seen a special Year of Zayed decal to celebrate the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and 40 of Emirates’ fleet are currently flying the around the world with huge Dubai Expo 2020 liveries.
And now we know what the next special decal is going to be… On Sunday, Emirates released sketch images of a decal that will celebrate the UAE’s first-ever space astronaut. Hazza Al Mansoori returned to the UAE yesterday having spent some time at the International Space Station.
On his return, Mansoori said the mission was “about serving humanity, regardless of nationality, race or religion”.
“When I said goodbye to fellow astronauts, it felt like I was saying goodbye to my brothers and sisters, my family. We celebrate this year as the ‘Year of Tolerance’, and our presence at the ISS was a true reflection of tolerance.”
On average, Emirates estimates that three aircraft decals are installed every week at the airline’s dedicated Aircraft Appearance Centre in Dubai. Around 14 team members work on installing the decals (described as being similar to temporary tattoos) in the 250 square metre facility.
A smaller decal (like the Expo 2020 logo you’ll see on either side of the nose of every Emirates aircraft) can take just two hours to install. A larger decal can take as long as 24-hours to print and install.