Dubai-based Emirates announced an order for 50 additional Airbus A380 jumbo jets in a deal worth $23 billion at list prices during the Dubai Airshow on Sunday. The deal brings Emirates’ total order book for A380s to 140 aircraft, Emirates chairman and CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said at a news conference.
“The A380 continues to be the flagship of our fleet and after five years in operation it remains highly popular with our passengers,” he said. “It is still one of the most efficient aircraft to operate today in terms of fuel burn and emissions per passenger, and it gives us the flexibility in some cases to meet passenger demand in slot-constrained markets. This latest order will help us meet both fleet expansion and fleet replacement needs.”
The deal was announced soon after Emirates disclosed that it had placed an order for 150 Boeing 777 long-haul jet in a deal estimated at $76 billion.
“Emirates purchase of 150 new 777X jets sends a strong signal to the industry that the airline is only going to get bigger and stronger,” said aviation analyst Saj Ahmad. “While the 777X jets will take a decade or more to deliver, Emirates will use their staged induction to start drawing down and phasing out other early models of 777s as well as dozen or more Airbus A380s that will start to come off lease.”
Emirates, which recently received its 38th jumbo A380 aircraft, already operates the world’s largest fleet of A380s and the largest fleet of Boeing 777s.
The carrier is expected to emerge as the biggest buyer during the ongoing Dubai Airshow, even as rivals Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways swell their order books.
In the six months between April and September this year, Emirates received 10 wide-body aircraft – six Airbus A380s, three 777s and one 777 freighter, with 15 more new aircraft scheduled to be delivered before the close of the financial year ending March 31, 2014.
The airline, which currently flies to 137 destinations in 77 countries, recently announced ambitious plans to fly 70 million passengers in 2020 across six continents with over 250 aircraft.