Emirates Triples A380 Order, Selects A340-600 and Adds A330s

Toulouse04 November 2001

Dubai-based Emirates, the world's first customer for the A380, has signed a contract with Airbus for 22 firm Superjumbos of which two Freighters, and taken options on ten more, tripling the size of its original commitment1. It has also signed a letter of intent for eight A340-600s - becoming a new customer for the version - and adding firm orders for three A330-200s.

The deal makes Emirates the world's largest single customer for the A380 and for the A340500/600, as well as reinforcing its position as the biggest A330-200 client, it also confirms Emirates' continuing very strong growth plans for the future.

"Even today we need larger aircraft," says Emirates Chairman HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum. "By 2006, when our first A380 enters service, we expect to carry more than twice as many customers as now. The A380 represents the only possible way forward for an airline like Emirates for, not only does it offer greater efficiency, but landing slots at the world's most popular airports are becoming harder to obtain - for example at London Heathrow, Frankfurt and Hong Kong"

"Emirates' major order for Airbus aircraft ensures that it will continue playing a pivotal role in the growth and success of the United Arab Emirates," says Airbus Chief Executive Officer Noël Forgeard. "It is building on its current and forecast strong passenger growth, both in terms of business and tourist travellers, as well as for freight. With this order, Emirates demonstrates a consistent clear vision of the future, and I have every confidence that it has the skills and determination to succeed."

Emirates will take delivery of the A380-800 passenger versions between 2006 and 2009, and of both A380-800F Freighters in 2008. It will operate the aircraft on three different types of routes and services - regional high density medium range operations, low density medium/long range flights to Europe and Asia, and on very long hauls to North America - thereby taking full advantage of the operational versatility of the airliner. The medium range A380s will have a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 510 tonnes, while the longer range version will have an MTOW of 560 tonnes. Engines have yet to be chosen.

The A380 will be the world's largest airliner, introducing a new way of flying in the 21st Century. Passengers will benefit from a more spacious cabin and wider seats, even in economy class, while operators will benefit from its 15-20 per cent lower operating costs and enhanced environmental friendliness.

Emirates' decision to acquire the A340-600 in addition to the six A340-500s it has already ordered, is further evidence of its preference for Airbus aircraft for long-haul flights. The -600, to be delivered starting in 2005, will be used to complement the operations of the ultra-long haul A340-500. This choice is a further confirmation of the A340-500/600's widespread success in the market place.

Emirates' order for three more A330-200s reinforces its position as the largest single customer in the world for the type, which is the backbone of its fleet. Deliveries of the three additional A330-200s begin in April 2003. They will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines. The A330-200 is firmly established as the aircraft of choice in the 250-seat category.

Emirates is the largest Airbus customer in the Middle East. It has had Airbus aircraft as the backbone of its fleet since its formation in the mid-1980s - initially A300s and A310s and, more recently, A330-200s. Airbus aircraft make up the bulk of the Emirates fleet. The international airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Emirates has consistently been one of the world's fastest growing carriers.

With the world's most modern and extensive airliner family on offer, Airbus is consistently winning about a half of large airliner sales - 100 seats and above - and currently has firm orders for some 4,400 airliners and more than 200 customers and operators around the globe. Airbus is a joint EADS Company with BAE SYSTEMS.

1 Original commitment for five A380-800 passenger versions, two A380-800Fs and five options

For further information, please contact:

Tel.: (33) or 05.61 93.34.31



Press Release