Emirates Airlines has inked a $16bn (AED 58.7bn) deal to acquire up to 36 additional Airbus A380 aircraft, which is slated for delivery beginning in 2020. As per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the commitment is for 20 A380s with the option for 16 more.
The agreement was signed at the airline’s headquarters in Dubai by HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, and John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft.
Commenting on the agreement, Sheikh Ahmed 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.
He added: “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.”
According to Airbus over 222 A380s have been delivered to 13 airlines to date, and over 200 million passengers have had the opportunity to travel on the aircraft. Additionally, the A380 boasts a range of 8,200 nautical miles (15,200 kilometres) non-stop and has the capacity to accommodate 575 passengers in four classes.
John Leahy, chief operating officer of Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft, said: “I would like to thank Emirates, HH Sheikh Ahmed, Tim Clark and Adel Al-Redha for their continued support of the A380.
“This aircraft has contributed enormously to Emirates' growth and success since 2008 and we are delighted that it will continue to do so. 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.”