If you are flying to New York this autumn aboard an Emirates A380, then you can avail of a unique facility- a hot shower mid-flight. The facility doesn’t come cheap; it will cost you £9,000 ($18,000) and a lot of guilt because of the carbon footprint left behind. Emirates is slated to become the first commercial airline to offer this facility to its first-class passengers. The service will initially be available on daily flights from Dubai to New York from October 1, but the Dubai based carrier plans to offer it across the entire fleet of 50 A380s. Although the airline compares the experience to Dubai’s “seven-star” Burj Al Arab hotel, environmental campaign groups like Plane Stupid are up in arms against the service. They say that the aircraft will have to carry an extra tone of water to feed the first-class showers and incurring a carbon cost of 48,455lb for every return flight.
“It’s symptomatic of who really benefits,” says Plane Stupid’s Robbie Gillett. “The richest 18% in this country takes 54% of all flights. The government is telling us to take fewer flights, but the huge increase in air traffic is not due to ordinary people going on family holidays, but because of excessive flying by the moneyed classes. Is this the type of development the aviation industry really needs?”