A Dubai-based aviation photographer has captured the first images of what appears to be a new aircraft livery for Emirates Airline, including a significant change of tailfin logo design – the first in the 37-year history of the carrier.
Buti Alnuaimi spotted the new look livery on the edges of Dubai International Airport (DXB), which has been painted on one of Emirates’ flagship Airbus A380 superjumbos.
The aircraft, a nearly nine-year-old jet, was previously painted in a special livery to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates and has been on the ground in Dubai since February 28 – presumably to receive the new look livery.
Emirates has not officially commented on the livery and the airline did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The airline will be celebrating its 38th anniversary on March 25, which could be celebrated with the unveiling of a brand-new livery.
Emirates was founded on March 25, 1985, and the inaugural flights from Dubai to Karachi and Mumbai took off just seven months later on October 25, 1985.
Of course, Emirates has changed dramatically since those early days, transforming itself into one of the biggest international airlines in the world, but the airline’s standout livery has remained remarkably consistent throughout.
From the very beginning, Emirates used a stylised version of the UAE’s flag on its tailfin (vertical stabilizer) along with the name of the airline in English and Arabic written in gold lettering on the fuselage and the logo painted on the engines.
The livery was last updated in 1999, although this refresh mainly focused on the font and size of name on the fuselage.
The latest update, whilst still not a complete departure from the original, is certainly a lot more dramatic. The stylised flag remains but has been made to look more like an actual flag fluttering in the wind.
Meanwhile, the word ‘Emirates’ on the fuselage has been supersized, and the wingtip fences have been painted red.
Emirates regularly adorns its fleet with special liveries – the majority of which are actually decals that are ‘stuck’ onto the fuselage. In most cases, the airline doesn’t alter the tailfin design, although in 2021 an A380 was completely repainted in a daring and bold design to celebrate the Dubai Expo.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.