When you’ve already sent a stuntwoman in flight attendant uniform up the world’s tallest building, it can be hard to think of what trick to pull next.
Last August, Emirate’s video ad went viral after Nicole Smith-Ludvik ascended 828 meters to the very top of the building’s spire, dressed in skirt, heels, and the airline’s instantly recognizable hat and scarf.
This impressive feat of derring-do took place over two days in October 2021 and involved the A380 circuiting the Burj Khalifa 11 times at the low altitude of 2,700 feet, the exact height of the building.
It’s by no means the first time an Airbus A380 has been used for high-profile stunts.
The superjumbo was developed at a cost of $25 billion and, with a capacity for up to 853 passengers, it’s the largest mass-produced civil airliner in history.
Emirates has 115 of the mammoth planes in its fleet and it’s not shy of getting them out for a press event.
The 2019 Air Show in Dubai opened with a superjumbo flying at an altitude of just 1,000 feet in formation with 26 planes from the United Arab Emirates’ Al Fursan air display team.
That was two years after an A380 owned by the UAE’s other flag-carrier, Etihad, kicked off the action at the 2017 Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix by also flying alongside the Al Fursan team.
Going further back again, in 2013 Emirates and Australian flag-carrier Qantas marked an alliance between the two airlines by flying A380s from each of their fleets over Sydney Harbour, at an altitude of 1500 feet.
A Qantas Airbus A380 and Emirates Airbus A380 fly over Sydney Harbour on March 31, 2013.
It’s not just airlines that have called upon the superjumbo to promote their brand.
In 2017, Porsche got into Guinness World Records by getting a standard Porsche Cayenne car to tow a 285-tonne Air France A380 for a distance of 42 meters at Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport.
The A380 has four engines, making it less fuel-efficient than twin-engined craft — so perhaps all these publicity jaunts can seem a little wasteful.
Nevertheless, Airbus itself has more than once been playful in its choice of flight routes when debuting new craft.
The route taken by the last A380’s last flight test.