After an intensive evaluation process, Dubai based Emirates Airline has signed a firm contract for 81 Airbus wide-body aircraft (50 Airbus A350XWB 900 plus 20 -1000, and 11 additional A380s) in an agreement which could eventually rise to 131 aircraft. The order was signed at the 10th Dubai Airshow between Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman, Emirates Group and Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO.
The order includes the firming up of eight A380 aircraft announced at Le Bourget in June plus an additional three. This brings Emirates’ total incremental A380 orders in 2007 to 15 aircraft making Emirates the largest A380 customer with 58 firm orders. In addition the contract also includes the possibility for an additional 50 A350 XWBs. The firm orders have a list price value of US 20.2 billion dollars.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Emirates Chairman and Chief Executive said, “The A350 XWBs and A380s will play an important role in supporting Emirates’ and Dubai’s growth plans. As the leading international airline for the 21st century, it made sense for Emirates to choose the A350 XWB – an aircraft designed with 21st century technologies. It offers the latest efficiencies in operational economics and environmental performance, balanced with the latest passenger comfort. We are also adding more A380s to our order, to match our new growth plans which are aligned to Dubai’s aim to attract 15 million visitors a year by 2012.”
“Emirates Airline is placing great faith in our A350 XWB and A380 programmes as well as in our company and we are rightfully proud”, said Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO. “Our products offer unmatched performance and passenger comfort as well as reduced fuel burn which not only makes good business sense but is also good for the environment”, he added.
The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) is Airbus’ response to market demand for a medium-capacity long-range widebody family. Designed with airlines’ priorities in mind, the A350 XWB confronts the challenges of high fuel prices, rising passenger expectations and increasing environmental concerns. Available from 2013, it has an entirely new, uncompromised, 21st century design with a wider and taller fuselage for extra space and passenger comfort.
Being greener, cleaner, quieter and smarter, the A380 is already setting new standards for air transport and the environment. The A380 has unmatched fuel efficiency and is significantly quieter than any other large aircraft flying today producing only half as much noise on take-off as the former largest commercial aircraft. The A380 has the roomiest and quietest cabin in the sky, and provides vital extra passenger capacity without increasing the number of flights. In a typical three-class, 525-seat configuration the A380 seat mile cost are 20 percent lower and range capability over 1,000 nautical miles longer than the former largest commercial aircraft.
Airbus is an EADS company