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Emirates welcomes 100th A380 to its fleet

Posted 3 November 2017 · Add Comment

Emirates today celebrates the milestone delivery of its 100th Airbus A380 aircraft at a special ceremony with Airbus at the manufacturer's delivery centre in Hamburg.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Emirates’ Chairman and Chief Executive officiated the ceremony. He was joined at the event by Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline; Tom Enders, Airbus Chief Executive Officer; Dominic Horwood, Rolls-Royce, Director - Customer and Services; His Excellency Ali Al Ahmed, UAE Ambassador to Germany and Frank Horch, Senator for Economy, Transport and Innovation of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

Sheikh Ahmed said: “This is a tremendous moment for Emirates, for Airbus and for our many partners involved in the A380 programme. There is no doubt that the A380 has had a big positive impact on aerospace manufacturing and the broader aviation industry, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs and stimulating innovation and new product development in many related areas such as ground handling, catering, airport facilities and cabin products, to name a few.

“Importantly, the A380 also brought the flying experience for our customers to the next level. The aircraft itself is a showpiece of engineering. It is the world’s largest commercial passenger jet but it is quiet and efficient and at Emirates we’ve utilised the onboard real estate to redefine the thinking around inflight products and experience. Our flight crew love to fly it and our customers love to fly in it.

“For Emirates, the A380 has been a success. We’ve been able to utilise it at slot-constrained airports, as well as at regional and ‘secondary’ airports where we have grown passenger demand. Each time we deploy an A380 onto a route, it typically stimulates further traffic and demand as travellers are attracted by our flagship A380 experience. We remain committed to the programme and will work closely with Airbus and our partners to continually enhance our A380 product as we look ahead to receiving our remaining 42 aircraft on order.”

“We are extremely proud of our long-standing relationship with Emirates – a partnership that has been integral to the A380 programme,” said Tom Enders. “It is a source of immense satisfaction for everyone at Airbus that such a visionary airline has believed in the A380 from the beginning and chosen it as its flagship and the backbone of its operations. And, of course, it is always exciting to hear positive feedback from our customers and passengers about the aircraft, while associating it with Dubai’s success as the world’s most dynamic air transport hub.”

Dominic Horwood said: “We would like to congratulate Emirates on this momentous occasion. We are very proud to be powering their 100th Airbus A380 and look forward to building on our strong relationship in years to come.”

Analyst Saj Ahmad said: “In taking the 100th example of Airbus’ big quad jet into its widebody-only fleet alongside Boeing 777s, the A380 has arguably helped Emirates transform its operations. From sumptuous on board cabin features to open relaxation spaces, the A380 has also helped put Dubai right at the nexus of global air travel too.

“As its signature airplane, the A380 has become an immense vehicle for Emirates In opening routes where it has needed extra capacity – slot-constrained Heathrow is but one example, however, it has also used the behemoth to launch longer non-stop routes to New Zealand. Emirates has been deploying the A380 fleet as flexibly as a smaller airplane and with different cabin layouts to suit market demand.”

Ahmad added: “On the flip side, the A380 has been a monumental financial abyss for manufacturer Airbus. It has failed to come anywhere near the sales goals envisaged for it. The type is nearly 20 years old and is entering the age of obsolescence and in the face of more efficient airplanes like 777X, 787 and A350, the A380 simply cannot cut the mustard against such competing rivals. That’s precisely why sales of the A380 have been so poor. This is why Emirates’ decision to buy 150+50 new 777X’s will eventually go some way to replacing the ageing A380s as they start to be withdrawn from service in a few year’s time. While Emirates is right to laud the leviathan A380 to complement its own big aspirations, the reality is that the ageing A380 is on borrowed time – and as with any airline fleet decision, it won’t be operating at Emirates forever.”

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