Emirates pushing for more A380s - and the upgraded B777
Emirates president Tim Clark is putting pressure on Boeing to get on with the development of the next generation B777-X and at the same time said the airline could do with another 40 A380 superjumbos.
Speaking in Seattle, Clark said Emirates would be ordering a further 30 of the Airbus flagship models taking the airline’s total A380 fleet to 120 – but would opt for a further 10 if Dubai Airport had the capacity to accommodate them.
Clark also said that the first of its fleet of 777-300-ER jets are due to be retired in 2017. He said the airline would like to replace them with the updated 777, which is expected to deliver greater efficiencies.
“It is a good time to start bellyaching to get the new jet started,” Clark said "I'm hoping to see it sooner rather than later."
A Boeing official told the news agency Reuters that the company is developing options and "when we are satisfied with the risks, costs and schedule, we intend to present a plan for offering the airplane to customers that would enter the market late this decade," he said.
Emirates already has 23 of the A380s in service. Seven more are close to being ready for delivery.
Issues with the wing has seen Emirates losing the use of each aircraft as it goes through a repair procedure. The first of the modified aircraft is back with Emirates Engineering for its first planned check having already completed the mandated interval.
But Clark sees this as a short-term problem and the demand for the type will continue to grow. "We don't cancel orders," Clark told the meeting. "We get on with it."