Middle Eastern carrier Emirates has placed an order for 70 Airbus aircraft, which includes 40 A330-900 and 30 A350-900 aircraft. The order comes after discussions regarding orders placed earlier by the airline for Airbus A-380 airliners. Airbus has announced the end of its A380 programme with the final delivery of the type in 2021 after which the production line will be shut down. This has resulted in Emirates cancelling its order for 39 of the Airbus A380 and replacing them with the other Airbus twin-jets listed above. Emirates had previously ordered 70 Airbus A350 airliners in 2007 which was cancelled in 2014. The airline then ordered 40 Boeing 787-10 airliners in 2017, a commitment that may now be in jeopardy with the Emirates’ new Airbus order for the same size of aircraft. Tom Enders, CEO, Airbus stated, “As a result of this decision we have no substantial Airbus A380 backlog and hence no basis to sustain production, despite all our sales efforts with other airlines in recent years. This leads to the end of Airbus A380 deliveries in 2021.”
The end of the Airbus A380 line will be a close to Airbus’ ambitious bid to challenge Boeing’s dominance in the Very Large Aircraft market. The Airbus A380 had a total order for 313 airliners of which 234 had been delivered. This number may now fall since lessors may be hesitant to purchase the aircraft which has low value in the second hand market. Emirates, the largest user of the type, has 123 airliners on order of which 109 have been delivered.