How Emirates set new world record with flight EK 2019

Emirates has completed a historic one-off A380 flight marking the 48th UAE National Day and the UAE Year of Tolerance.

With over 540 passengers across 145 different nationalities onboard, the one-of-a-kind flight, unprecedented in the industry, was an impactful initiative to showcase the UAE’s spirit of unity and inclusiveness.

The flight welcomed passengers from different backgrounds, ethnicities, religions and cultures and included families and children, Emirates Group employees, as well as People of Determination.

Passengers were encouraged to come in their national dress, and throughout the flight, their colourful costumes became a vibrant collage honouring their different heritages and traditions.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and CEO, Emirates Airline & Group said: “The UAE has become a remarkable symbol of tolerance and coexistence, welcoming people from over 200 nationalities and backgrounds, all living together in solidarity and harmony. It is in fact the diversity of the citizens and residents of the UAE that unite us and make us stronger through mutual respect and opening bridges of common dialogue, and today’s flight is a celebration of that spirit which is very much a part of our everyday lives here in the UAE.”

EK 2019 was commanded by UAE nationals, Captain Abbas Shaban and Captain Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum, and First Officer Karin Arning from Germany.

The 22 cabin crew on flight EK 2019 hailed from 18 countries, and were led by flight purser Jafar Hamad, a UAE national. On an average flight, Emirates cabin crew represent up to 15 nationalities, proudly serving customers across the airline’s network. An average Emirates flight typically carries more than 50 nationalities onboard.

The airline attempted to welcome as many nationalities as possible onto flight EK2019, for a special flight journey across all seven emirates.

Passengers were able to write their names and wishes for the Year of Tolerance on a special message wall. Before boarding, a bespoke stamp to mark this special flight was put on each boarding pass as an added keepsake for passengers.

Just before descent, an official adjudicator from Guinness World Records, who was onboard verifying nationality counts, officially announced a new title for most nationalities on an aircraft.

As passengers disembarked, they were handed certificates of participation for taking part in this historic activity.

Over 30,000 people across the UAE registered interest to become part of the flight.

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