French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe today hailed the signing in Dubai of a USD 16 billion purchase by Emirates Airlines of the Airbus A380 superjumbo commercial airliner.
"This is obviously excellent news for the French aerospace industry and for the European industry as a whole, as it allows Airbus to consider continuing production of the A380," the visiting premier told reporters on the sidelines of the World Government Summit.
In December, Emirates agreed to buy 20 of the double- decker aircraft with an optional 16 more, just days after the European manufacturer said it would have to halt production if no new orders were received.
The economics of the 853-seat, four-engine A380 have proved daunting, with airlines having to operate every flight at full capacity in order to make a profit.
Today's closing of the deal represents a lifeline for Airbus.
A major transcontinental air routes transit hub, Dubai is one of several Gulf-based airports to have experienced prodigious growth in recent years.
Dubai airport was the world's busiest for international passengers in 2017 for the fourth year running, with 88.2 million travellers.
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