Emirates orders 32 more A380s from Airbus for $11.5 billion

June 8th, 2010 - 9:56 pm ICT by IANS  

By D. Balaji
Berlin, June 8 (IANS) Dubai-based Emirates Airline Tuesday placed a fresh order with Airbus Industrie for an additional 32 A380 super jumbos at a cost of $11.5 billion.

“This latest order, adding to 58 A380s we have booked, affirms our strategy to become a world leading carrier and establish Dubai as a central gateway to global air travel,” Emirates chief executive Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum told reporters on the margins of the 100th Berlin air show here.

Of the 58 aircraft Emirates ordered in 2004, Airbus delivered 10 jumbos till date since July 2008. Another five A380s will join its fleet by this year-end and the rest, including the new order of 32, are scheduled to fly by 2015.

“The A380 is our flagship in terms of passenger comfort, innovation, environmental efficiency and revenue generation. Our latest commitment signals confidence in the growth to come in a thriving aviation sector as we build our fleet for tomorrow,” the Dubai Sheikh said.

The agreement for the additional fleet was signed by the Sheikh and Airbus chief executive Tom Enders in presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other dignitaries on the inaugural day of the six-day aerospace trade fair.

The A380 family starts with a capacity of 525 passengers in a three-class configuration in two spacious decks.

As a super jumbo, it has a range of 8,300 nautical miles/15,400km, non-stop.

Since 2008, Airbus delivered 30 A380s to global airlines such as Emirates, Singapore, Qantas, Air France and Lufthansa.

“We are serving eight international destinations with A380s, including London, Toronto, Paris, Jeddah, Bangkok, Seoul, Sydney and Auckland,” Emirates president Tim Clark said.

The leading Middle East airline will start A380 service to Beijing August 1, Manchester September 1 and a return service to New York October 1.

In a year (2009-10) when the global aviation industry was rocked by the economic downturn, Emirates reported its 22nd year of profit, up 416 percent at $964 million, as against $187 million in fiscal 2008-09.

“Over 5.5 million passengers have already enjoyed the unique experience of flying on board the all-new 380, between 17 airports worldwide,” Enders noted.

Singapore Airlines was the first to take delivery of A380 Oct 15, 2007 and has a fleet of 10 aircraft in operation on routes to Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, Paris, Zurich, Sydney and Melbourne.

“The A380 flies on reduced noise, being the quietest long-haul aircraft for the future, generating half the noise on departure than the 747-400,” Enders added.

With the lowest fuel burn per seat, the A380 also allows airlines to reduce carbon footprint in terms of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

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