Emirates is set to retire 26 of its older aircraft next year as it modernises its fleet and focuses on fuel efficiency.It will retire another 26 planes over the following two years: 13 aircraft in 2017 and another 13 in 2018, bringing the average age of aircraft retirement to just 15.7 years, well below the industry average of 25 years, United Arab Emirates (UAE) publication The Nation reports.
The world’s largest international carrier is removing some of its older Airbus A330 and A340 jets for the fleet. They are markedly less fuel efficient than their more modern rivals. Fuel accounts for about 28% of Emirates’ operating costs, according to the most recent figures.
As Emirates retires 26 aircraft in 2016, it will add 36 new planes to its fleet in the same year. These planes include 20 Airbus A380s and 16 Boeing 777-300ERs. Emirates says these two plane types emit about 12% less carbon dioxide than the retired planes.
Other major airlines are steadily retiring aircraft too, including Singapore Airlines, which is currently considering whether to return to Airbus the world’s first A380, which it received on a 10-year lease. That allows SIA to return the plane in 2017.
The first A380, nicknamed Superjumbo, was delivered to Singapore Airlines eight years ago, in October 2007. Superjumbo entered service on 25 October 2007 between Singapore and Sydney, with flight number SQ380. See: What is a used A380 worth? SIA holds key to find out
Written by Peter Needham