DUBAI — Emirates today announced a US$16 billion deal for 36 additional Airbus A380 aircraft, with 20 firm orders and 16 options.
The new A380s will be delivered to Emirates from 2020 onwards. Together with the airline’s 101-strong A380 fleet and its current order backlog for 41 aircraft, this new order brings Emirates’ commitment to the A380 program to 178 aircraft, worth over US$60 billion.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said: “Emirates truly represents Dubai’s spirit of growth, innovation and resilience. It also epitomizes the city’s increasing role in connecting the world in terms of people, capital and information flows. This deal reflects Emirates’ confidence in shaping the future, and its commitment to advancing Dubai’s vision to grow further as a world-class destination and aviation hub.”
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) today with John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft at the airline’s headquarters in Dubai.
Sheikh Ahmed said: “We’ve made no secret of the fact that the A380 has been a success for Emirates. Our customers love it, and we’ve been able to deploy it on different missions across our network, giving us flexibility in terms of range and passenger mix.”
He added: “Some of the new A380s we’ve just ordered will be used as fleet replacements. This order will provide stability to the A380 production line. We will continue to work closely with Airbus to further enhance the aircraft and onboard product, so as to offer our passengers the best possible experience. The beauty of this aircraft is that the technology and real estate on board gives us plenty of room to do something different with the interiors.”
Emirates’ new order underscores Airbus’ commitment to produce the A380 “at least for another 10 years”, said Airbus’ Leahy, adding “I’m personally convinced more orders will follow Emirates’ example and that this great aircraft will be built well into the 2030s.”
Emirates’ partnership with Airbus spans decades. The world’s largest international airline, Emirates is by far the largest Airbus A380 operator on the planet with 101 A380s currently in service.
Many in the aviation industry were convinced Airbus would halt production on the A380 once existing orders were filled. The massive double-deck aircraft are capable of carrying up to 868 passengers, although most airlines operating the A380s configure the layout with 540 or so seats, in three classes. Despite the wow factor with its size when it was officially launched into commercial service in 2007, the number of new orders for A380s from the world’s airlines has tapered off, with the exception of Emirates.