The future of the Airbus A380 has been secured after Emirates agreed to buy 36 superjumbos in a deal worth $16 billion at list prices.
Airbus admitted last week that it could have to close production on the A380 without a further order from Emirates, which is the main customer for the aircraft.
Emirates today (January 18) agreed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for 20 A380s with options for a further 16 superjumbos. The new aircraft will be delivered to Emirates from 2020 onwards.
The Dubai-based carrier already has 101 superjumbos in its fleet with a further 41 aircraft due to be delivered as part of previous orders during the next few years.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of 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.
“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.”
John Leahy, chief operating officer customers for Airbus Commercial Aircraft, added: “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 ten years. I’m personally convinced more orders will follow Emirates’ example and that this great aircraft will be built well into the 2030s.”
Airbus delivered 15 A380s to airlines last year with just 12 scheduled to be produced in 2018. This compares with the 27 superjumbos that were supplied to airlines in 2015.