Emirates and Air Arabia place $30bn of orders with Airbus

Orders for 50 new A350s for Emirates and 120 new A320s for Air Arabia unveiled within two-hours of each other
Emirates, Air Arabia, Airbus, Dubai Airshow

Emirates and Air Arabia have placed orders worth $30 billion list-price for Airbus jets, it was announced today at the Dubai Airshow.

Emirates ordered 50 A350-900s, worth $16 billion, while Sharjah-based budget airline Air Arabia struck a deal for 120 new A320s, worth $14 billion.

The Emirates order was signed at the Dubai Airshow by HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and Guillaume Faury, Airbus’s CEO.

HH Sheikh Ahmed said: “Today, we are pleased to sign a firm order for 50 A350 XWBs, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. This follows a thorough review of various aircraft options and of our own fleet plans. It is Emirates’ long-standing strategy to invest in modern and efficient aircraft, and we are confident in the performance of the A350 XWB. 

“Complementing our A380s and 777s, the A350s will give us added operational flexibility in terms of capacity, range and deployment. In effect, we are strengthening our business model to provide efficient and comfortable air transport services to, and through, our Dubai hub.”

Two-hours later, Air Arabia chairman, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Thani, signed the deal for 120 narrowbodies alongside Faury.

The deal will more than triple Air Arabia’s current fleet. The order consists of 73 A320neo, 27 A321neo and 20 A321XLR planes.

Delivery is scheduled to commence in 2024 and the carrier has yet to specify the engines to be installed on its new fleet.

Adel Al Ali, group CEO of Air Arabia, said: “Air Arabia’s fleet growth strategy has always been driven by commercial demand and we are glad to announce today one of the region’s largest single-aisle orders with Airbus to support our growth plans.

“This new milestone underpins not only our solid financial fundamentals but also the strength of our multi-hub growth strategy that we have adopted over the years while remaining focused on efficiency, performance and passenger experience.”

He added: “The addition of the A320neo, A321neo and A321XLR complements our existing fleet and allows us to expand our service to farther and newer destinations while remaining loyal to our low-cost business model. We look forward to working with Airbus and receiving the first delivery.”

Christian Scherer, Airbus’ CCO, said: “We are delighted to expand our partnership with Air Arabia; this is a great endorsement for the A320neo Family which will allow the airline to tap into new markets. We are committed to supporting the fast expansion of Air Arabia and the region.”

Air Arabia’s current fleet consists of 54 A320s and A321neo-LRs. Air Arabia is the first Middle Eastern airline to operate the A321neo-LR with three aircraft currently in service and another three scheduled to join the fleet in 2020.

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