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Video: UAE’s Air Arabia, Emirates, Etihad, Flydubai unite for National Day display

Video: UAE’s Air Arabia, Emirates, Etihad, Flydubai unite for National Day display

The country’s 47th National Day took place on Sunday

UAE airlines Air Arabia, Emirates, Etihad and Flydubai performed a rare joint aerial display to celebrate the country’s National Day.

Emirates said the occasion offered the opportunity to commemorate the legacy and values of the UAE’s founding father Sheikh Zayed and showcase the country’s aviation success story to the world.

Read: Best places to celebrate UAE National Day in the UAE

The aerial showcase featured 11 aircraft including a Boeing 737 Max 8 from Flydubai, an Airbus A320 from Air Arabia, an Airbus A380 from Etihad, an Airbus A380 from Emirates and seven Al Fursan aerobatic display jets from the UAE Air Force.

All of the commercial aircraft within the formation, described as a ‘first’, were emblazoned with ‘Year of Zayed’ decals.

The aircraft were commanded by captain Adrian Smith from flydubai, captain Nadhem Al Hamad from Air Arabia, captain Richard Dyson from Etihad Airways and captain Abbas Shaban from Emirates Airline. The Al Fursan team was led by lieutenant colonel Nasser Al Obaidli.

The ‘stair step’ formation began at 1:00pm when the aircraft took off from Dubai World Central. They then held holding positions at altitudes ranging from 2,000ft to 5,000ft.

Together they flew from Ras Al Khaimah to Um Al Quwain and Ajman before passing landmarks including the Sharjah Corniche, Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah, World Islands and Burj Khalifa and finally the Abu Dhabi Corniche and the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.

The aircraft then split and continued on to their respective airports for landing.

“This ground-breaking initiative showcases how unity and a shared vision can achieve outstanding results,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group and chairman of Flydubai.

“I am immensely proud of all of the teams across every airline, the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, and all the organisations who came together to plan and execute today’s unprecedented flight formation which will go down as an extraordinary moment for UAE civil aviation.”

The mission required more than five months of planning and require cooperation from the airlines, the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), UAE Ministry of Defence, air traffic controllers, the Abu Dhabi Department of Transportation and Civil Aviation Authorities from other UAE emirates.

A rehearsal flight was held on 8 November 2018 to ensure that the formation positions worked appropriately with the Al Fursan air display team.

Video: UAE’s Air Arabia, Emirates, Etihad, Flydubai unite for National Day aerial display.


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