Airlines from UAE celebrate 47th National Day with formation flight

A truly stunning show was put on for the people living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with Etihad, Air Arabia, Emirates, Fly Dubai and the UAE Air Force aerobatic team all flying in formation to celebrate the nation’s 47th National Day and its founding father, HH Sheikh Zayed.

Zayed dedicated his life and leadership time to bringing unity and great future prospects to the nation. His legacy has left a continuing imprint in all aspects of the UAE, which is what makes each National Day significant.

Etihad and Emirates both showcased their Airbus A380s in the “Year of Zayed” liveries, with Fly Dubai soaring through the air with their Boeing 737 MAX 8 and Air Arabia with their Airbus A320, both sporting decals for same occasion. The UAE Air Force aerobatic formation complemented the commercial airliners with their Aermacchi MB-339NAT trainer aircraft, which trailed the national colors behind them.

Departing Dubai World Central Airport, each aircraft was kept in a holding pattern until all were ready to enter the formation. Switching from a trail formation to a step stair-step formation, each aircraft maintained a 300 feet of separation, with the Fly Dubai 737 MAX 8 positioned the lowest at 1000 feet above the ground with a speed of 210 knots.

Airlines from United Arab Emirates celebrate 47th National Day

The coastline was the primary flying location, with the formation heading from Ras Al Khaimah to Um Al Quwait and Ajman before proceeding to the world-renowned Dubai Palm, Abu Dhabi Corniche and Sheikh Zayed Mosque.

Here are some photos of the formation!

Airlines from United Arab Emirates celebrate 47th National Day

Airlines from United Arab Emirates celebrate 47th National Day

The formation flying towards the Dubai Palm

Airlines from United Arab Emirates celebrate 47th National Day

All four airlines participating in this celebration each expressed their positive thoughts towards Sheikh Zayed and the celebration itself, before all thanking each other for the great cooperation and healthy competition.

It’s worth remembering these events aren’t easy to prepare. Five months of planning was required to get this formation just right. As expected, the primary focus of the training was safety of the flight crew, ground observers and the aircraft. Various authorities, regulators, flight operation managers and traffic controllers all worked hand in hand to ensure the spectacular flight went without any issues.

You can watch a video of the flight here: