22 JANUARY 2018
© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.
Whilst it was His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates, who last week signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for up to 36 Airbus A380 with John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer customers, it clearly had the airline’s president Sir Tim Clark’s fingerprints all over it.
Just as Leahy is about to retire (see BTN 4 December 2017) Sir Tim’s departure cannot be far away.
The deal calls for 20 firm orders and 16 options. No engine decision has been made and some will replace existing aircraft. It is thought that the fleet expansion will coincide with the opening up of Al Maktoum International Airport, still mainly a cargo operation.
The additional Airbus A380s will be delivered to Emirates from 2020 onwards. Together with the airline’s 101-strong A380 fleet and its current order backlog for 41 aircraft, this new order brings Emirates’ commitment to the A380 programme to 178 aircraft.
The MOU potentially guarantees the low volume production of the A380 into the next decade. Emirates represents over 50% of total A380 orders.
Emirates operates 133 non-stop flights per week from the UK to Dubai – six services daily from Heathrow, three from Gatwick and Manchester, twice daily from Birmingham and Glasgow, and a daily service from Newcastle. Stansted is launched in June. (See BTN 15 January)
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