Airbus Ends Dry Spell With Sale Of 50 Giant Jets To Emirates

Emirates, the Dubai-based airline, has ordered 50 Airbus A380 jets, it announced Sunday at the Dubai Air Show.

The $US20.2 billion deal is a reversal of fortune for Airbus, which had not sold a single A380 in 2013.

Just a few weeks ago, Reuters reported, the plane maker was considering cutting A380 production to avoid building planes it could not sell.

The double-decker A380 has been in service since 2007 and is flown by 10 airlines. The world’s largest passenger jet, it can cover 8,500 nautical miles on a full tank. It usually seats about 500 passengers, though it can fit more than 800.

Emirates, recently dubbed the world’s best airline, is the biggest A380 customer, with 39 currently in service. Unlike most airlines, which are drawn to leaner, more efficient jets, it has expressed interest in an even larger plane — perhaps even one with three levels.

While the sale is good news for Airbus, the European plane maker has been roundly beaten by its arch rival Boeing at the Dubai show. Emirates placed the A380 order just minutes after ordering 150 jets from Boeing.

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