Emirates Airline, the world’s largest operator of the Airbus A380, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to acquire up to 36 more. The move has effectively saved the type’s production line from closure, as relatively slow sales had threatened the A380’s future.
The agreement includes 20 of the ‘Super jumbos’ with options for 16 more. It was signed on January 18 at the airline’s headquarters 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. Deliveries are to start in 2020 and the deal is valued at $16 billion at latest list prices.
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.”
“I would like to thank Emirates, HH Sheikh Ahmed, Tim Clark and Adel Al-Redha for their continued support of the A380,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft. “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.”
To date, 222 A380s have been delivered to 13 Airlines.