Emirates and Airbus have finally clinched a deal for 36 additional A380 aircraft that will see the A380 programme continue for another ten years. The massive order sees Emirates commit to buy 20 planes with an option for another sixteen, worth up to £11.5bn at list price.
Emirates has almost single-handedly kept the A380 programme going over the years with more than 100 in service but the programme had been in some doubt when an expected order from Emirates failed to materialise at the Dubai Airshow. One would have thought that this gave bargaining power to Emirates. However, as by far and the way the biggest customer for the A380, Airbus was able to effectively strong-arm Emirates into the order by calling into question the entire A380 programme if new business didn't come. With Emirates Dubai-hub strategy built around the A380, Airbus could call its bluff which seems to have worked, although Emirates is to sure to have extracted guarantees from Airbus as to the future of the programme as a condition of the deal.
Sheikh Ahmed, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, 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.”
John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer - Customers at Airbus Commercial Aircraft said “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 10 years. I’m personally convinced more orders will follow Emirates’ example and that this great aircraft will be built well into the 2030s.”