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Colourful A380: Emirates Celebrates Expo With A Bold Livery

Emirates has outdone itself with its latest special livery. The airline is no stranger to painting its jets with differing liveries to celebrate special occasions. Emirates has now revealed one of its boldest liveries to date, celebrating the Dubai Expo 2020 event in the city.

Some airlines shy away from special liveries, while others may apply one once in a blue moon. Emirates is neither of these airlines. The airline will willingly apply a special livery to its aircraft for any number of occasions. In fact, in just five years, the airline has applied 50 unique designs to 100 aircraft. Currently, the airline is celebrating 50 years of the United Arab Emirates with a special livery.

Love it or hate it?

Emirates may have just created the marmite of aircraft liveries. The bold colors of the Expo 2020 livery are likely to divide opinion. The aircraft’s fuselage is predominantly blue. Over the blue are several colored spots and shapes. In big words, “Dubai Expo” and “Be part of the magic” appear along the length of the jet.

Meanwhile, the engines bear the show’s dates on one side, which starts in October 2021 and is set to finish in March 2022. On the other, they read Dubai Expo. While the exposition is called Expo 2020, it was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The jet actually features minimal Emirates branding. Spotters can still find the airline’s logo on the white wingtips.

The most interesting feature of the livery is at the front. Emirates recently released an advertising campaign at the top of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. In this campaign, a stuntwoman dressed as Emirates cabin crew held up a series of cards. A couple of these are reproduced at the front of the jet.

How was the jet painted?

When Emirates revealed its ’50 years of the UAE’ livery, the aircraft had been covered in decals. This essentially meant the aircraft maintained its original livery underneath ‘stickers’. The airline took a different approach with the Expo 2020 livery. The aircraft was completely stripped of paint.

The majority of the livery was painted on using stencils and electrostatic spray guns. The engine messages and the cabin crew images were then placed over the top by applying decals. Emirates described the entire project as “by far the largest one the airline has ever embarked on.”


The paint job was applied to A6-EEU. According to data from, the aircraft first flew on November 5th, 2013. Emirates took delivery of the 7.9-year-old aircraft in March 2014 and has clocked 30,713 hours across almost 3,000 flights as of the end of June. The aircraft has the airline’s three-cabin layout and is currently valued at $50.71 million.

Data from shows that the paint scheme took a fair few days to accomplish. The aircraft last flew on September 8th as EK202 from New York’s JFK Airport. Emirates revealed that the paint scheme took 16 days from start to finish, with 4,379 work hours required. The aircraft’s first flight in the new livery will see it head to Los Angeles tomorrow.

Two more aircraft are set to be repainted into the bold choice of livery. They will join 40 other A380s that have received less extravagant orange, green, and blue Expo liveries. Once the Expo ends in six months, all the aircraft will gradually be returned to the standard Emirates livery.

Love it or hate it?

S: Simple Flying

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