Behind the scenes footage has been released showing how Emirates strips and repaints its aircraft.

The Dubai-based airline last year completely stripped 21 aircraft - or nearly 10 per cent of its fleet - of exterior paint and gave them a brand new coat in what it says is the biggest airline-owned paint hangar in the world.

A Boeing 777 requires a team of up to 30 people for a full strip-and-repaint project, which is turned around in just 12 to 13 days.

Located at Dubai International Airport, Emirates' paint hangar is more than twice the size of a football field, and operates around the clock.


Last year it took 6550 hours in total, or 273 days and nights of non-stop stripping and repainting, to complete the 21 make-overs.

The paint shop also did more than 60,000 other paint touch-up jobs on the exteriors and interiors of the aircraft, as well as cabin items.

"Our aircraft livery is one of the most recognisable and visible aspects of our brand. It is what people see in the sky, and the first thing our passengers see at their boarding gates, said Adel Al Redha, executive vice president and chief operations officer, Emirates.

"It's not just about looking good. The paint coat has to withstand fierce weather conditions, including severe wind, bitter cold and searing heat, and an exterior coat that is clean of debris and imperfections improves aerodynamics and reduces fuel consumption."

While the airline flew and a young and efficient fleet, consistently high fuel prices meant every little bit of efficiency counted, he said.

Building its own paint hangar has helped the airline to better control total quality, and co-ordinate flight operations scheduling. Since the paint hangar started operating in August 2010, it has completed 59 full aircraft "strip-and-repaint" projects and several hundred thousand aircraft component paintings. Temperature, humidity and airflow are controlled in the hangar.

Emirates' first A380, which entered service in August 2008, will be due for a full repaint next year.

The longest A380 flight - Dubai to Los Angeles:

Emirates operates the largest fleet of A380s with 44 in total and an additional 96 on order. It also operates the world's largest fleet of Boeing 777s with 132 in service and 210 more on order.