The plane Emirates received Monday is on the far edge of luxury and comfort - the airline said it's the only commercial airline in the world equipped with showers. It also features spas, bars, lounges and some private suites for some of the 489 passengers it can carry.
Airbus employees pose next to an A380 aircraft during a hand-over ceremony in Hamburg, July 28, 2008.(Xinhua/AFP Photo)
Emirates has orders for another 57 A380s - the most ordered by any airline - and plans to use the plane for service between Dubai and destinations in Australia, New Zealand, London and New York.
"The first time I flew in an A380, I knew we were making the right choice," Al-Maktoum said at a ceremony marking the delivery at Airbus' Juergen Thomas Delivery Center. "We might not be the first to fly but we were the first to sign." Emirates signed an order for 58 A380s in July 2000, in a deal worth some euro32 billion (US$50.3 billion).
"Fulfilling the A380 dream has required vision, innovation, a lot of courage and determination," said Tom Enders, the chief executive of Toulouse, France-based Airbus. "Emirates shared in this vision early on."
Airbus, the aircraft division of European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company NV, said it has 202 orders for the passenger version of the A380 so far. The next biggest orders are Australia's Qantas Airways with 20, Singapore Airlines with 19, and German airline Lufthansa with 15 A380s.
In a typical three-class configuration, the aircraft can seat about 525 people. The next largest passenger aircraft, the Boeing 747, seats about 420 in the same configuration.