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Emirates Airlines announces $16-bn deal for 36 Airbus A380 superjumbos

The company said it had placed firm orders for 20 of the double-decker aircraft with options for a further 16

AFP | PTI  |  Dubai 


Airlines said today it has struck a $16 billion deal to buy 36 superjumbos just days after the European manufacturer said it would have to halt production without new orders.

The company said it had placed firm orders for 20 of the double-decker with options for a further 16. Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2020.

is already the world's biggest customer for the with 101 in its fleet and 41 more firm orders previously placed.

The Dubai-based said that with the new order it will have commitments for a total of 178 worth $60 billion.

The deal was expected to be signed during the Airshow in November but was delayed without any explanation amid reports of tough negotiations.

Instead, inked a deal to buy 40 for more than $15 billion.

Airbus's decision in 2007 to pursue the A380, capable of packing in 853 seats, was diametrically opposed to Boeing's bet on the Dreamliner, marketed as a more efficient plane that could be used for both medium and long-distance flights.

But the economics of the have proved daunting, with airlines having to fly every flight at full capacity in order to make a profit.

warned on Monday that it might have to end production of the A380, having booked no new orders for the plane in two years.

It said it regarded Emirates as the only with the capacity to place an order of the size required to keep production going.

"We've made no secret of the fact that the A380 has been a success for Emirates," the airline's Sheikh said.

"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."

Emirates operates a fleet of 269 wide-bodied and flies to 157 destinations.

First Published: Thu, January 18 2018. 17:15 IST