Hazza Al Mansouri celebrated with special Emirates Airbus A380
Emirates is commemorating the first Emirati space mission with a special livery for the biggest plane in its fleet.
The achievements of Hazza Al Mansouri, the first Emirati astronaut and Arab on the International Space Station (ISS), have not gone unnoticed. From royal admiration, to special-edition coins and stamps, Al Mansouri is in the Emirati history books. Now, the nation’s top airline Emirates is celebrating his mission with a special jumbo jet.
Its flagship plane will sport a picture of Al Mansouri in his astronaut suit, floating in front of the ISS, along with the inspirational quote of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, who says, "The sky is only the beginning."
His Highness’s quote comes as the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) is starting to embark on space missions, with the eventual goal being the incredibly ambitious mission of going to Mars.
“The sky is only the beginning.” @HHShkMohd
We are proud to celebrate the UAE’s historic journey to space with a special livery on our flagship @Airbus A380 that will soon take off to the skies. pic.twitter.com/kzmrWHoYvy— Emirates Airline (@emirates) 13 October 2019
"We are proud to celebrate the UAE’s historic journey to space with a special livery on our flagship Airbus A380 that will soon take off to the skies," the airline said.
Al Mansouri, a former fighter-pilot, was picked out of a selection of over 4,000 applicants to become the first Emirati astronaut and relaunch what he calls a golden age of Arab astronauts. Al Mansouri spent eight days on the ISS from September 25 to October 3, carrying out educational livestreams, acts of cultural exchange, and gathering scientific information for MBRSC back home.
Since returning to his home, Abu Dhabi only recently, Al Mansouri was greeted with a royal welcome. He landed at the Presidential Terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport, an airport used exclusively for private aviation. He was greeted by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and gave His Highness what is assumed to be the same UAE flag which went to the ISS.
Emirates has several times in the past donned some special liveries on its aircrafts for events of national or international significance. Most recently was the Rugby World Cup livery to celebrate the sporting event which is currently happening in Japan.
The airline currently has 112 A380s in service and 11 pending delivery.