Emirates Increases A380 Order

DUBAI-BASED Emirates Airline, already the largest customer for the Airbus A380, has signed for 32 more aircraft – the largest single order for the type – bringing its firm commitment to 90 Super Jumbos.  The deal, valued at a list price of $11.5 billion (£7.5b), was formally sealed at the ILA2010 show in Berlin, Germany, on June 8 at a special ceremony attended by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO, and a range of dignitaries, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“This latest order, adding to 58 A380s previously ordered, affirms Emirates’ strategy to become a world leading carrier and to further establish Dubai as a central gateway to worldwide air travel,” said Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al- Maktoum.  “The A380 is our flagship in terms of passenger comfort, innovation, operating and environmental efficiency and revenue generation.  Our latest commitment signals Emirates’ confidence in the growth to come in a thriving aviation sector as we build our fleet for tomorrow.”
The airline continues to buck the industry trend and, while others have struggled through the economic downturn, it has boosted capacity by 16.9% over the past year with the delivery of 15 new aircraft – four Airbus A380s, ten Boeing 777-300ERs and one B777 freighter – bringing its fleet to 142 aircraft.  It is now ranked the second largest airline in the world when measured by available seat kilometres.  Emirates also recently reported its 22nd year of profits, posting a profit of $964 million (£636m), a staggering 416% increase on the previous year.  This result is even more amazing when you consider it was achieved in a year fraught with worldwide market instability and economic uncertainty.
After taking delivery of its first A380 in July 2008, Emirates has expanded its fleet of the type to ten, receiving its latest aircraft on June 7, 2010.  It is now flying them to Auckland, Bangkok, Jeddah, London, Paris, Seoul, Sydney and Toronto, and is planning to introduce the type on routes to Beijing from August 1 and Manchester from September 1, also reintroducing them on its link to New York from October 1.
The airline’s management had previously confirmed that it had already tentatively selected routes for the 58 aircraft it had on order but has yet to confirm its plans for the additional aircraft.  Some analysts suggest that with delivery dates spreading out into the decade, some of the new orders could be intended to replace A380 models that have only recently entered service with the carrier.