Airbus SE will provide up to 36 more A380 jets to Emirates Airline, according to a new “memo of understanding” agreed by the OEM and the carrier. The commitment for 20 of the wide-body jets plus options for 16 more is valued by Airbus at up to $16 billion.
Deliveries of the new aircraft will begin in 2020.
The A380 is recognized as the world’s largest passenger aircraft, with cabins on two decks and capable of seating 525 passengers in a three-class configuration, or up to 853 passengers in the highest-capacity arrangement. The jet has a range of 8,200 n.m. (15,200 km), capable of some of the longest routes in commercial aviation.
In addition to the new orders, Emirates has orders in place with Airbus for 41 new A380 aircraft.
Airbus offers the A380 with an option of GE Aviation or Rolls-Royce engines, and Emirates’ current fleet of 101 A380s — nearly half of all the A380s delivered since the aircraft debuted in 2007 — includes both choices. However, in its statement the airline noted it is evaluating engine options for its latest A380 order.
Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group, noted that some of the newly ordered aircraft will be fleet replacements. “We’ve made no secret of the fact that the A380 has been a success for Emirates. Our customers love it, and we’ve been able to deploy it on different missions across our network, giving us flexibility in terms of range and passenger mix”.