Nice paint job: Why Emirates gives its planes a makeover

It's not just the cars in the UAE that are kept looking clean and shiny.

An Emirates aircraft with the United for Wildlife livery. Courtesy Emirates
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Drivers, especially in the UAE, like to take care of their cars, making sure they are clean and sparkling for all to see and admire.

And that goes for aircraft too.

The Dubai carrier Emirates gave a paint makeover to 33 aircraft in 2015 - and not just so that they looked good.

The Emirates Aircraft Appearance Centre, the world’s largest aircraft painting facility owned by an airline, has completely stripped and repainted 33 jets in 2015, or 13 per cent of its fleet.

The Dubai airline gave fresh paint to three Airbus A380s and 22 Boeing 777s, and another eight aircraft that were retired as a part of the airline’s strategy to operate a young fleet.

During the year, Emirates had some eye-catching customised decals installed on its fleet. This included the Real Madrid A380, the Paris Saint-Germain A380, the Arsenal 777, the AC Milan A380, the Arsenal A380 and the United for Wildlife A380.

According to Emirates, aircraft appearance can affect the operating and technical performance of the plane. A good paint job can also help reduce fuel burn, and this urged Emirates to invest in having an in-house aircraft appearance centre.

With a facility twice the size of a football pitch that uses the latest technology, the centre also uses control environments to regulate temperature, humidity and airflow – all critical factors for the perfect glossy coat.

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