- Emirates has ordered 20 Airbus A380s with an option for 16 additional jets of the same type.
- The total value of the deal is $US16 billion at list prices.
- Thursday’s order will keep the A380 program afloat for the next decade.
Emirates has agreed to a firm order for 20 Airbus A380 airliners along with an option for 16 additional superjumbos.
At list prices, Thursday’s deal is worth as much as about $US16 billion, though it is customary in the aviation industry for important customers such as Emirates to receive major discounts.
Earlier this week, Airbus indicated that it would consider shuttering the A380 program without an additional order from Emirates.
With this order in hand, the iconic double-decker has earned a reprieve from the scrap heap for at least another decade.
“This new order underscores Airbus’ commitment to produce the A380 at least for another 10 years,” Airbus’ sales chief, John Leahy, said in a statement. “I’m personally convinced more orders will follow Emirates’ example and that this great aircraft will be built well into the 2030s.”
Emirates is, by far, the Airbus A380’s largest customer. The airline operates 101 of the aircraft. No other airline has more than 18.
“We’ve made no secret of the fact that the A380 has been a success for Emirates,” the airline’s chairman and CEO, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said in a statement. “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.”
Thursday’s deal brings Emirates’ total commitment to the A380 program up to 178 aircraft and a total value of $US60 billion.
The newly ordered planes will be used both to expand the A380 fleet and to replace aircraft that were delivered in 2008.
Aircraft from this latest tranche of planes are expected to be delivered after 2020.
In recent years, Airbus a struggled to find new buyers for the world’s largest airliner. Prior to Thursday, the A380 program had been without a major airline order for the aircraft since Emirates’ previous order in 2013.