Dubai’s government-controlled Emirates Airline, the international carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said on Thursday it had purchased 36 additional Airbus A380s.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of the Emirates Airline, signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) earlier Thursday with John Leahy, chief operating officer customers of Airbus Commercial Aircraft, at the airlines’ headquarters in Dubai.
The aircraft will be delivered to Emirates from 2020 onwards. Together with the airline’s 101-strong A380 fleet and its current order backlog for 41 aircraft, the 16-billion-U.S.-dollar new deal brings the Emirates’ A380 fleet to 178 aircraft.
“Some of the new A380s we have just ordered will be used as fleet replacement,” said the Emirates’ chairman.
Last November, Airbus almost sealed a deal on additional A380 purchase with Emirates, before the UAE’s carrier changed its plan and bought 40 Boeing 787 Dreamliners instead.
Emirates’ move raised speculations among aviation experts about a possible end of the production of the European “double-decker” plane.
“The deal reflects Emirates’ confidence in shaping the future and its commitment to advancing Dubai’s vision to grow further as a world-class destination and aviation hub,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE.