Emirates airline has signed a $21.4bn agreement for boosting its fleet with 70 Airbus aircraft.
The Dubai government-owned carrier will receive the new order, including 40 of the latest generations of A330-900 aircraft and 30 A350-900, as of 2021 and 2024, respectively, Emirates said in a statement on Thursday.Emirates will slash its current order of 53 Airbus A380 to only 14, set to be delivered as of this year until the end of 2021 and take its total A380 order book to 123 units.
The decision to move away from the Airbus A380 came after months-long talks with Airbus and Rolls-Royce, Sheikh Ahmed, chairman and chief executive, Emirates airline and group, said.
“Emirates has been a staunch supporter of the A380 since its very inception. While we are disappointed to have to give up our order, and sad that the programme could not be sustained, we accept that this is the reality of the situation,” he added.
“Emirates’ fleet strategy to operate a young, modern, and efficient all-widebody fleet remains unchanged. The 40 A330neos and 30 A350s that we are ordering today will complement Emirates’ fleet mix, support our network growth, and give us more flexibility to better serve seasonal or opportunistic demand,” he commented on the new order.
The A330neos will be introduced on Emirates’ regional destinations, along with enabling the world’s largest airline by international passengers to serve smaller airports.Meanwhile, the A350s will complement Emirates’ long-haul operations, providing the carrier with added flexibility in terms of capacity deployment on 8 to 12-hour flights from its Dubai hub, according to the statement.