Emirates Airlines has confirmed to buy 36 Airbus A380 superjumbos in a $16bn deal just after the announcement of European manufacturer that they would have to halt production without new orders.
Emirates had ordered for 20 double-decker aircraft with options for a further 16. Deliveries will start in 2020.
The airline’s chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum said this order will provide stability to the A380 production line. “We’ve made no secret of the fact that the A380 has been a success for Emirates,” said in a statement. “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.”
Emirates has became world’s biggest customer for Airbus A380 with 101 in its fleet and 41 more placed orders.
Dubai Airline said that with this order it will have commitments for total of 178 A380s worth $60 billion. The orders were supposed to be placed in November during Dubai Airshow but was delayed without any explanation. Rather, Emirates signed a contract to buy 40 Boeing Dreamliner for more than $15 billion. Airbus dropped its decision to pursue the A380 with the Boeing’s bet on Dreamliner and found it more efficient for both medium and long-distance flights. On Monday Airbus warned that due to having no new booked orders for plane in two years it might have to end production of the A380.
Airbus sales director John Leahy said on Monday- “Quite honestly, if we can’t work out a deal with Emirates there is no choice but to shut down the programme.” Aribus said to remain viable it needed to build at least six of the aircraft per year for the programme. “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,” Leahy said. Independent commercial aviation expert John Strickland called the deal “a relief for Airbus” and said it probably saved the A-380 programme.