Dubai-based Emirates Airline has placed an additional order for 50 Airbus A380 superjumbos, a deal which Airbus says evidences a continued strong demand for very large aircraft in the Middle East that are needed to meet the region’s higher-than-average traffic growth.
The deal takes Emirates’ total firm orderbook for the Airbus A380 to 140 aircraft. To date, Emirates has taken delivery of 39 of the superjumbos, so its November 17 order increases its outstanding orderbook for the A380 to 101 aircraft.
Ordered in a combination of two and three-class cabin configurations, the first 25 of Emirates’ 50 newly ordered A380s are scheduled to be delivered before the first quarter of 2018.
Emirates’ latest A380 order, announced at the Dubai Airshow 2013, confirms the Dubai carrier’s status as by far the largest customer for the type. Emirates has ordered six times as many A380s as the next-largest customer, Singapore Airlines, which has ordered 24.
The order was signed at a ceremony at the Dubai Airshow witnessed by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group; and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus president and CEO.
“The A380 continues to be the flagship of our fleet and after five years in operation it remains highly popular with our passengers,” said Al-Maktoum. “It is still one of the most efficient aircraft to operate today in terms of fuel burn and emissions per passenger, and it gives us the flexibility in some cases to meet passenger demand in slot-constrained markets.
“This latest order will help us meet both fleet expansion and fleet replacement needs,” added Al-Maktoum.
“By strategically placing the A380 at the centre of its business, Emirates is maximizing its leading position with each day of operations,” said Brégier. “Emirates has understood from the start the A380’s advantages in terms of efficiency, economics and passenger comfort. It continues to be a true crowd-puller and contributor to the rapid development of its Dubai hub.”
Following delivery of its first A380 in July 2008, Emirates has now taken delivery of 39 A380s. Its 39th A380 is present on Airbus’ static display line at the 2013 Dubai Airshow. All of Emirates’ A380s are powered by Engine Alliance GP7200 engines.
Since first entering service in 2007, the A380 has joined the fleets of 10 major international carriers. The aircraft flies 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 kilometers) non-stop, carrying more people than any other commercial jet. It does so at lower cost and with less impact on the environment, Airbus claims.
According to Airbus, the A380’s spacious, quiet cabin and smooth ride have made the A380 a firm favorite with both airlines and passengers, resulting in higher load factors wherever it flies.
The total A380 fleet has accumulated over one million flight hours in almost 140,000 commercial flights. To date some 50 million passengers have already flown on board an A380.
Every five minutes, on average, an A380 either takes off or lands at one of the 34 airports where it operates today and the network is continuing to grow, according to Airbus.