Along with this mornings announcement of Airbus A380 production being wound down, Emirates have confirmed with Airbus replacement aircraft to take their place.
The aircraft that have been selected will be Airbus A330neo (A330-900) and Airbus A350 (A350-900).
The order is split between:
- 40 Airbus A330neo (A330-900neo)
- 30 Airbus A350 (A350-900)
Emirates will take delivery of 14 more Airbus A380 before they cease production, with 39 possible A380s being taken away.
Deliveries of the A330-900s commence in 2021 and the A350s in 2024. Both are powered by Rolls Royce engines.
Guillaume Faury, President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft and future Airbus CEO.
“The A380 is Emirates’ flagship and has contributed to the airline’s success for more than ten years. As much as we regret the airline’s position, selecting the A330neo and A350 for its future growth is a great endorsement of our very competitive widebody aircraft family,”
“Going forward, we are fully committed to deliver on the longstanding confidence Emirates is placing in Airbus.”
A hidden win for Airbus?
If the number 40 sounds familiar, it should do – as this was the number of Boeing 787-10 aircraft that Emirates was due to take up as an order.
Currently, this isn’t showing in any Boeing backlog and has not been confirmed as such.
For Emirates, it will mean a return to the A330 family (which it hasn’t operated for some years), and will be preparing them for the A350 when introduced to the network. The airline did have an A350 order in the past (for 50 A350-900 and 20 A350-1000s). These were shelved in favour of…. the Airbus A380.
And maybe it may signals a change in the Emirates network strategy to smaller jets to support sustainable flows.
This could play out interestingly in the long term.
As for Airbus? Who knows. Maybe clearing the A380 production line would make a lovely line for the A350…
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