The future of the Airbus A380 is looking more secure following the news the Emirates has ordered 36 aircraft, in a deal worth 58.7 billion UAE dirhams ($16 billion).
Emirates was expected to make a large order for A380s at the 2017 Dubai Airshow but surprised the industry by ordering 40 Boeing 787-10s, leading to speculation that the A380 may cease production.
The airline was said to be seeking assurances from Airbus that production would not be stopped before committing to any more aircraft, and Airbus were warning that production may end if it received no more orders.
The deal is for 20 firm orders and 16 options, and the additional A380s will be delivered from 2020 onwards.
Together with the 101-strong A380 fleet and its order backlog of 41 aircraft, the new order brings Emirates’ commitment to 178 aircraft worth over $60 billion.
The memorandum of understanding was signed by Emirates Airline and Group chief executive and chairman, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and Airbus Commercial Aircraft chief operating officer – customers, John Leahy at the airline’s headquarters in Dubai.
Al Maktoum says: “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.”
UAE vice president and prime minister, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the ruler of Dubai adds: “Emirates truly represents Dubai’s spirit of growth, innovation and resilience. It also epitomises 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.”
Leahy thanked Emirates for its commitment to the A380, saying: “This aircraft has contributed enormously to Emirates’ growth and success since 2008 and we are delighted that it will continue to do so. This new order underscores Airbus’ commitment to produce the A380 at least for another ten years.
I’m personally convinced more orders will follow Emirates’ example and that this great aircraft will be built well into the 2030s.”