Airbus has secured a significant order for 15 A350-900 jets from Emirates at the Dubai Airshow, in what is seen as a compromise deal. The move comes after Emirates criticized the maintenance requirements of the larger A350-1000 model. The Dubai-based airline hopes to ensure operating efficiency and a top-notch flying experience for its customers with the help of Airbus and Rolls-Royce.
The deal, worth an estimated $6 billion, reflects the needs of the Gulf region as it faces increasing competition from rivals such as Turkey and India. Emirates, a major user of the Airbus A380, is looking to strategize its fleet beyond the retirement of the A380. Prior to this order, the airline had announced a $52 billion deal with Boeing for 90 Boeing 777X aircraft.
Emirates’ President, Tim Clark, had previously refused to order the A350-1000 and criticized Rolls-Royce over maintenance issues. Rolls-Royce has acknowledged the need for more servicing but denies any defects in the engines. Emirates has already ordered 50 A350-900s, which are scheduled to arrive from August next year.
This latest order is being seen as a consolation prize for Airbus and Rolls-Royce, as Boeing emerged as the dominant player at the airshow, winning orders for 196 aircraft. In comparison, Airbus managed to secure deals for only 55 jets. However, Airbus did reach an “agreement in principle” for a significant order from Turkish Airlines.
Emirates also announced the purchase of five additional Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Other notable orders from the airshow include SunExpress purchasing 45 Boeing 737 MAX jets, Ethiopian Airlines buying 20 737 MAX jets, EgyptAir ordering 10 A350-900s from Airbus, AirBaltic purchasing 30 Airbus A220-300s, Royal Air Maroc placing an order for two additional 787 Dreamliners, and EgyptAir leasing 18 new Boeing 737 MAX jets from Air Lease Corp.
The Dubai Airshow has once again demonstrated the fierce competition and high stakes involved in the aviation industry. As airlines strive to provide the best services and experiences for their customers, manufacturers like Airbus and Boeing are locked in intense battles to secure lucrative orders and maintain their positions in the market.
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