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Emirates has announced a firm order for 50 Airbus A350-900 aircraft worth US$16 billion at list price, with deliveries due to take place between 2023 and 2028.
The agreement replaces a previous order signed in February for 30 A350s and 40 A330neos. Emirates chairman and CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said the decision was made to change the purchase following “a thorough review of various aircraft options and of our own fleet plans”.
Sheikh Ahmed continued: “Complementing our A380s and B777s, the A350s will give us added operational flexibility in terms of capacity, range and deployment. In effect, we are strengthening our business model to provide efficient and comfortable air transport services to, and through, our Dubai hub.”
Emirates says it intends to equip the A350s with its latest products, and that some will include its Premium Economy cabin.
The A350, which will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, has a range of up to 15 hours’ flying time.
“This US$16 billion deal reflects our confidence in the future of the UAE’s aviation sector, and is a strong affirmation of Dubai’s strategy to be a global nexus connected to cities, communities and economies via a world-class and modern aviation sector,” added Sheikh Ahmed.
Guillaume Faury, chief executive of Airbus, commented: “We are honoured by Emirates’ strong vote of confidence in our newest widebody aircraft, taking our partnership to the next level. The A350 will bring unbeatable economics and environmental benefits to their fleet. We look forward to seeing the A350 flying in Emirates colours.”
Emirates joins the likes of British Airways, Air France and Virgin Atlantic, among other airlines, in adding the A350 to its fleet.