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Emirates receives IATA 753 compliance certification for baggage operations in its Dubai hub

The Economy class on the aircraft was also fully refreshed.

To achieve certification Emirates developed an integrated Baggage Management System (BMS) in-house called Wasla to provide full control of its worldwide baggage operations.

DUBAI, UAE – Emirates has been awarded IATA 753 compliance certification for its baggage operation in its home base of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The certification underlines the carrier’s capabilities to diligently track bags that flow through its Dubai hub for departing, arriving and connecting customers.

IATA Resolution 753 requires airlines to track bags at four specific points in the baggage journey to ensure that at any time the status of each bag is known, facilitating a more pro-active customer approach to managing baggage challenges.

To achieve certification Emirates developed an integrated Baggage Management System (BMS) in-house called Wasla to provide full control of its worldwide baggage operations. Wasla receives baggage scanning information from across the airline’s network and provides Emirates’ airport teams with information on the status of each bag on board.

In Dubai where Emirates processed 35 million bags last year, speed and efficiency is of the essence and the airline works closely with stakeholders to ensure processes and systems are integrated with the Baggage Handling System (BHS) that is provided by Dubai Airport.

Resolution 753 compliance was achieved through close cooperation of all involved stakeholders, Emirates as the airline, dnata as the ground handler, and Dubai airport as the provider of the baggage handling system.

Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer said: “We continue to focus on consistently delivering superior services on the ground, and in the air. As part of this endeavour, I am delighted that our baggage management and tracking systems are aligned with IATA’s requirements and that we are certified for end-to-end tracking at our hub (Dubai International Airport). The ability to track our customers’ baggage at any stage, means we can proactively notify them at key touch points during their journey, and enable our frontline staff to provide even better service. We have already introduced applications and processes that provide our customers with information regarding their delivery of bags using automation, making best use of available technology.”

IATA Resolution 753 was developed to reduce mishandling and baggage fraud, increase customer satisfaction, and enhance the overall baggage management landscape at airports around the world. The resolution was issued in 2014 and made mandatory for all IATA airlines to be implemented by 1 June 2018 and Emirates received the compliance certification in advance of this deadline.

“Having Emirates – one of the region’s largest operators – achieve Resolution 753 certification is a significant boost not only for the airline’s customers but also the region. We congratulate them on their achievement and for taking the industry one step closer to 100% bag tracking,” said Muhammad Al Bakri, IATA Regional Vice President, Africa and The Middle East.

Emirates Engineering reconfigures second Boeing 777-200LR aircraft
Emirates Engineering has successfully completed the reconfiguration of the second Boeing 777-200LR aircraft in its fleet. The conversion of the aircraft from three to two cabin classes was executed fully in-house at the Emirates Engineering hangars in Dubai. The reconfigured aircraft also features new, wider Business class seats in a 2-2-2 format, a new social area in business class, as well as a fully refreshed Economy class providing customers a superior inflight experience.

The first reconfigured Emirates Boeing 777-200LR aircraft took to the skies in early March 2018. The eight remaining Boeing 777-200LR aircraft in Emirates’ fleet will be progressively reconfigured by mid-2019 and deployed to a number of other cities on the airline’s global network including Santiago, Chile- Emirates' latest destination in South America. Emirates has invested over US$150 million to reconfigure the Boeing 777-200LR aircraft in its fleet.

Working with internal stakeholders as well as external suppliers, it only took Emirates Engineering 22 months from the time the decision was made to reconfigure the airline’s Boeing 777-200LR fleet to the first reconfigured aircraft rolling out of the hangars ready for its first commercial flight.

Emirates Engineering undertook a complex process to ensure that the job was completed successfully and on time. This included detailed work to outline specifications, review designs and layout, manage procurement and contracts with suppliers, secure regulatory approvals, maintain a stock of raw materials, and the management of workflows, timelines and resources in the run up to grounding the aircraft and converting the interiors.

Design and workflow
Finalising the design was core to the reconfiguration process and the layout of the cabin that was finally chosen was one of eight proposed blueprints. The engineering team also had to secure approvals from regulatory authorities including the GCAA and the FAA in order to modify the aircraft from its original design.

Once the design was finalised Emirates Engineering worked with suppliers to ensure that all the necessary parts and spares were available to complete the reconfiguration of the aircraft. In total, the team had to work with over 30 suppliers and had to manage more than 2,700 parts and spares at any one point of time. Key suppliers such as Boeing, Jamco, Panasonic, Rockwell Collins, Zodiac, and ATG were present on-site to provide assistance.

Grounding the aircraft
The next step in the process was to ground the aircraft for cabin reconfiguration. During this time the original interiors of the aircraft cabin were completely stripped and rebuilt. The reconfiguration not only involved the installation of new seats but also a number of other changes including new wiring for the lighting systems, raising the ceiling height in the business class cabin, and modifying the aircraft galleys to incorporate the new social space in business class.

It took Emirates Engineering 55 days of ground time to reconfigure the first aircraft. However, as a result of the learnings and efficiencies achieved during the first conversion, the reconfiguration of the second aircraft was completed in just 35 days.

Safety Testing
A battery of tests had to be conducted on the aircraft at various stages to ensure its safe operations. The four major types that had to be conducted included: prototype testing where the design was validated for regulatory compliance; functional testing of cabin components; EMI Electro-magnetic interference (EMI) and air-flow testing inside the cabin, and a five hour test flight with the simulation of various flight scenarios and in-flight fire and smoke testing.  

Overall, the Emirates Engineering team invested the equivalent of over 16,000 collective man hours in the design and implementation of this aircraft reconfiguration project.

Emirates Engineering operates modern and extensive technical facilities in Dubai to maintain its fleet of over 260 aircraft. Spread over 136 acres, the support infrastructure includes seven heavy maintenance hangars and four light maintenance hangars, all of which are capable of servicing the Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger jet. Leveraging on its experience as the world’s largest operator of the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 777 aircraft, Emirates Engineering provides Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services selectively to external parties.

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