$16b Emirates deal throws lifeline to A380

Marco Green
January 18, 2018

The deal comes just days after Airbus warned it may have to scrap the programme if it could not complete the signing.

'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'.

Airbus needs to make at least six A380s a year in order to maintain an efficient production line, he said, and no orders came in during 2017.

The Emirates airline has just announced an order of 36 aircraft to Airbus of A380 model for a catalog price of 16 billion dollars (about 13.1 billion euros), as announced by company in a statement on website.

"This new order underscores Airbus' commitment to produce the A380 at least for another ten years", said Airbus chief salesman John Leahy.

In the autumn one of its A380s was taken out of service and mothballed in the Pyrenees, with its owner, a German leasing company, unable to find an airline willing to operate it.

Emirates will replace some of its older A380s with the new planes.

"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". In total, Airbus has, to date, delivered 220 aircraft of the type. Emirates said it was evaluating engine options.

The deal will be seen as a major coup for John Leahy who is soon to retire as Airbus' head of sales.

"I'm personally convinced more orders will follow Emirates' example and that this great aircraft will be built well into the 2030s", he said.

Emirates has utilised the aircraft to great effect in building its "hub and spoke" business model - connecting Dubai with almost two-thirds of humanity. But other than that, and in spite of backlogs that already are at record levels for both manufacturers of large commercial jets, demand for commercial aircraft is still strong-stronger than most expected.

Later this year, the Australian carrier, Qantas will start the worlds first direct flight between Australia and Europe, utilising the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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