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Emirates scales Burj Khalifa once again; this time with an A380 to promote Dubai Expo 2020 – afaqs

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The airline pulled off the stunt a second time with a specially painted aircraft in the background.
Remember the woman standing on top of Burj Khalifa for an advertisement for the UAE-based airlines Emirates? Well, she has done it again. And this time with a plane flying behind her.
The woman, a professional skydiving instructor Nicole Smith-Ludvik, made headlines in August last year, filming the ad on top of the world’s tallest building, dressed as Emirates’ flight attendant, holding up message boards. The airline has taken it a level higher this time (not literally), by recreating the ad with an Emirates A380 plane, that was specially painted to promote the Dubai Expo 2020.
In the first ad, Smith-Ludvik stood on top of the Burj Khalifa as the camera zoomed out to show a breath-taking view of Dubai beneath her.
In the recent ad we see the colourful A380 flying past her as she invites us to Dubai for the Expo. Sharing the video on its YouTube page, the brand has written: “The world’s greatest show brings friends together on top of the world’s tallest building. Enjoy a free Expo 2020 Dubai day pass with every ticket. Fly Emirates, Fly Better.”
The ad begins by showing Smith-Ludvik on top of the building, holding a series of placards. “I’m still here,” reads the first card, and then they go on to say: “Wow, I can see Dubai Expo” and “Finally, here come my friends”. As the plane whizzes past her, the placard in her hand reads, “Fly the iconic Emirates A380 to the world’s greatest show.”
The ad also features aerial views of Dubai and its iconic skyline. The video ends with a flypast over the Al Wasl dome at the Expo 2020 Dubai site.
The visuals are enough to convey the risk and challenges in conducting the death-defying stunt. But a BTS video shared by the airline makes it more explicit. The A380 was flown 11 times around the Burj Khalifa to get the shot and it was flown at the speed of 145 knots which is really slow for the aircraft. The average cruising speed of an A380 is around 480 knots. Though the plane appears to be very close to her, it was 0.5 miles away and at a low altitude of only 2,700 feet- at level with the top of the Burj Khalifa.
The Expo 2020 has been going on since October and will conclude in March. It was originally scheduled for October 2020 to April 2021, but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. This year as well, the Expo has been marred by the rise in Covid19 cases across the globe. It could be that the airline is promoting the show to ensure a rise in footfalls.
Watching her stand in a circumference space of only 1.2 metres at that height, one feels shivers going down their spine. Standing on top of the 163-storeyed building, you wonder how she mustered the courage to pull off the stunt. This wonder gives way to admiration when you hear that Smith-Ludvik survived a horrific car crash. In an interview to Gulf News, she revealed that she had sustained a broken neck, back, tailbone, punctured lung, two broken ribs, four pelvic fractures and two brain injuries.
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