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Emirates praises A380 and makes massive new order

February 22, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Emirates has praised the popular A380 as “a wonderful aircraft loved by our customers and our crew” – while at the same time ordering 70 new, different aircraft from Airbus which will expand its fleet away from its dependence on Airbus A380s and Boeing B777s.

A recent decision by Emirates, world’s biggest A380 operator by far, to cut back on an order for more A380s spurred Airbus to take the hard decision to terminate production of the giant four-engined plane. That will happen in 2021.

Airbus will supply Emirates with 14 more A380s by end 2021, bringing the airline’s total A380 order to 123 planes.

Some A380s (though not those of Emirates) are already being broken up for spare parts. Singapore Airlines last year returned four of its earliest A380s (then just a decade old) as it replaced them with newer, more fuel-efficient versions of the same plane. Two of the older planes are now being broken up for spares – which is not a long service life considering the huge cost of the new planes.

The first commercial flight of the A30 was less than 12 years ago, in October 2007. In contrast, Boeing’s iconic 747 has just celebrated its 50th birthday.

MEANWHILE, Emirates has announced an order for 40 A330-900 aircraft, and 30 A350-900 aircraft, in a heads of agreement signed with Airbus. The deal is worth USD 21.4 billion at list prices.

The latest generation Airbus A330neo and A350 aircraft, will be delivered to Emirates starting from 2021 and 2024 respectively.

Commenting on the agreement on A380 deliveries, chairman and chief executive of the Emirates Airline and Group, Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said:

“After many months of discussions, we have come to an agreement with Airbus and Rolls-Royce.

“Emirates has been a staunch supporter of the A380 since its very inception. While we are disappointed to have to give up our order, and sad that the program could not be sustained, we accept that this is the reality of the situation.

Emirates A380

“For us, the A380 is a wonderful aircraft loved by our customers and our crew. It is a differentiator for Emirates. We have shown how people can truly fly better on the A380, and Emirates has set the standards for that by introducing customer experiences that are unique to the A380 like our Shower Spas and Onboard Lounge.

“The A380 will remain a pillar of our fleet well into the 2030s, and as we have always done, Emirates will continue to invest in our onboard product and services so our customers can be assured that the Emirates A380 experience will always be top-notch.”

Commenting on the decision to purchase A330Neos and A350s, he continued: “Emirates’ fleet strategy to operate a young, modern, and efficient all-wide body fleet remains unchanged.  The 40 A330neos and 30 A350s that we are ordering today will complement Emirates’ fleet mix, support our network growth, and give us more flexibility to better serve seasonal or opportunistic demand. Both the A330neos and A350s will play an important role in our future fleet and network plans.”

The A330neos will be deployed on Emirates’ regional destinations, and also enable the airline to serve smaller airports and thereby open new routes and connectivity for its global network. The A350s will supplement Emirates’ long-haul operations, providing the carrier with added flexibility in terms of capacity deployment on 8- to 12-hour missions from its Dubai hub.

Edited by Peter Needham

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