Airbus will produce A380 superjumbo passenger jets for at least another ten years following the receipt of an order from Emirates worth $16bn.
The deal for 36 A380 aircraft is comprised of 20 firm orders and 16 options. Deliveries will commence from 2020.
Along with the airline’s 101 A380 fleet and its current order backlog for 41 aircraft, this new order brings Emirates’ commitment to the A380 programme to 178 aircraft, worth over $60bn.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline and Group 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.
“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.”
Sheikh Ahmed signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with John Leahy, chief operating officer – customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft.
“This new order underscores Airbus’ commitment to produce the A380 at least for another ten years,” said Leahy. “I’m personally convinced more orders will follow Emirates’ example and that this great aircraft will be built well into the 2030s.”
On January 15, 2018, Airbus announced delivery figures across its product range, with a total of 718 aircraft delivered to 85 customers. The 2017 total comprises: 558 single aisle A320 Family (181 A320neo variants); 67 A330s; 78 A350 XWBs (up by nearly 60 per cent from 2016) and 15 of the 575-passenger-capacity A380s.
During a related webinar, Leahy suggested the A380 programme would have to be closed down, pending the order from Emirates.