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Emirates boosts A380 order book
Emirates A380. © Airbus

Emirates boosts A380 order book

Emirates Airline has committed for up to 36 additional A380 aircraft, including 20 firm orders, with deliveries to start in 2020.

In yet another farewell flourish for John Leahy, Emirates Airline has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to acquire up to 36 additional A380 aircraft. The agreement was signed on 18th January at the airline’s headquarters in Dubai by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and CEO, Emirates Airline and Group, and Leahy, outgoing COO - Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft.

The commitment is for 20 A380s and an option for 16 more with deliveries to start in 2020, valued at $16bn at latest list prices. If Emirates exercises all its options, the A380 order book will increase from 95, as of the end of 2017, to 131. This ensures an extra lease of life for the production line and gives Airbus additional breathing space to secure additional orders.

Leahy said the A380 would be produced for at least another 10 years, adding: “I’m personally convinced more orders will follow Emirates’ example and that this great aircraft will be built well into the 2030s.”

Before firming up the new order, the company had announced plans to halve the previous production rate, to 12 aircraft in 2018, followed by just eight in 2019. Fabrice Brégier recently indicated that the production rate could drop to six aircraft per year, without any major impact on profitability.

To date, 222 A380s have been delivered to 13 airlines. With this latest order, the Dubai carrier — which received its 100th A380 in November — accounts for virtually 50% of all A380 orders. Emirates has so far received 101 of the 142 A380s it had ordered prior to the new deal.

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