Emirates upcycling aircraft interiors into exclusive luggage range 

Emirates custom luggage

While the Dubai Airshow 2023 may be all about doing deals and ordering aircraft, other airline news is coming out of the five-day event.  

Emirates, which has featured heavily at the show, has announced it is launching a unique collection of luggage, bags, and accessories, all fashioned from upcycled materials from retrofitted aircraft. 

The company describes the project as “capturing both the spirit of innovation embedded in Emirates’ culture and its ongoing environmental commitment to consuming responsibly.”  

The limited-edition range features a selection of suitcases, backpacks, handbags, cardholders, toiletry bags, belts and even shoes. Every item in the collection is designed and handmade by Emirates tailors in a dedicated cabin workshop at the Emirates Engineering facility in Dubai.  

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Scheduled to go on general sale to the public in 2024, all proceeds made from the collection will be donated to children in need via the carrier’s in-house charitable organization, the Emirates Airline Foundation. 

All materials used to make the collection have been gathered from the company’s Airbus A380s and its Boeing 777-300 fleets.  

All kinds of materials have been repurposed for the luggage and bags, from aluminum headrests to leather from couches in the A380 onboard lounge and from passenger seatbelts to the fur from the pilot seats.  

From the 16 Emirates aircraft that have been through the retrofitting process to date, more than 14,000kg of materials have already been recovered. As the project progresses, there is scope to recover up to 595 lbs (270 kg) of leather and 1,382 lbs (627 kg) of seat fabric for each retrofitted aircraft. 

“At Emirates, we are committed to constantly evolving our sustainability efforts and looking at every aspect of our products and supply chain,” said Ahmed Safa, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President for Engineering. “We knew these materials could be given a second life because they are originally of very high quality. We challenged our team to be as creative and innovative as possible, and here we are, with our own accessories workshop in the Emirates Engineering Centre. This initiative is a passion project for our team, and we are immensely proud of how it aligns with our innovation and sustainability aims, and even better – that all proceeds will benefit worthy causes via the Emirates Airline Foundation.” 

A chance to own a piece of history 

In August 2022, Emirates undertook its largest-ever fleet retrofit project as part of a multi-billion-dollar investment to elevate customer experience.  

Emirates aims to upgrade the entire interior cabins of 120 of its Airbus A380 and Boeing 777s. Managed entirely by Emirates Engineering, the retrofitting program is scheduled to take at least two years to complete.  


Once the 67 earmarked A380s are refreshed and back in service, 53 777s will then undergo their facelift. This will see nearly 4,000 of the airline’s new premium economy seats installed, 728 first class suites refurbished, and over 5,000 business class seats upgraded to a new style and design when the project is complete. 

As each piece is handmade to order, customers may be able to request personalized laser engraving on some exclusive, one-of-a-kind bags, suitcases, or document holders. Aviation fans can register their interest soon, but the airline warns that these unique pieces are in limited quantity. 

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