The first big surprise of Dubai Airshow 2007 has been made! Dubai based Emirates Airline has signed a firm contract for 50 Airbus A350XWB-900 plus 20 A350XWB-1000, and 11 additional A380s in an agreement which could eventually rise to 131.
The order includes the firming up of 8 A380 aircraft announced at Le Bourget in June plus an additional 3. This brings Emiratesâ€™ 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, â€œThe 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.”
â€œEmirates Airline is placing great faith in our A350 XWB and A380 programmes as well as in our company and we are rightfully proudâ€, said Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO. â€œOur 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 environmentâ€, he added.
The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) is Airbusâ€™ response to market demand for a medium-capacity long-range widebody family. Designed with airlinesâ€™ 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.