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Emirates reaches deal with Airbus for 15 new aircraft

Emirates will be adding to its fleet, which currently consists of A380s and Boeing 777s (pictured) plane sky clouds Dubai, UAE November 16, 2021: A Boeing 777X aircraft on aerial display at the Dubai Airshow Emirates
Emirates will be adding to its fleet, which currently consists of A380s and Boeing 777s (pictured)
  • Emirates orders 15 Trent A350-900
  • Deal valued at $6 billion
  • Boost to Airbus as Boeing dominates

Emirates Airline appears to have reached a compromise with French plane manufacturer Airbus over the latter’s Rolls-Royce engines after the Dubai-based carrier announced an order of 15 Trent XWB-84 powered A350-900 aircraft.

The $6 billion deal was revealed at Dubai Airshow just days after both Emirates president Tim Clark and chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum questioned the durability and maintenance costs associated with the engines on the larger A350-1000 aircraft.

“When we feel that we have a good deal, we will sign,” Sheikh Ahmed said earlier this week. “We need guarantees on when, at what price and the maintenance cost per hour.”

The A350-900, which accommodates 300-350 passengers in a standard three-class configuration, uses a different type of engine from the A350-1000 and has not been subject to the same criticism.

“We will work closely with Airbus and Rolls-Royce to ensure our aircraft deliver the best possible operating efficiency and flying experience for our customers,” Sheikh Ahmed said.

The order will add to Emirates’ existing Rolls-Royce fleet of 132 Trent 900s.

It comes as a boost for Airbus with rival Boeing so far largely dominating this year’s airshow.

Boeing flies high

Announcements by the US company have included a $52 billion deal from Emirates for 90 777-X aircraft and an $11 billion order from Flydubai for 30 wide-body Dreamliner aircraft.

The show opened with an order for 45 Boeing 737 Max from Turkish low-cost carrier SunExpress.

On Tuesday Ethiopian Airlines announced an order for 20 Boeing 737 jets and 11 787-9 Dreamliners.

Royal Jordanian signed an agreement with Boeing to purchase six 787-9 Dreamliner jets.

Airbus, meanwhile, has picked up deals from EgyptAir for 10 A350-900s and AirBaltic, which announced an agreement to buy 30 A220-300 aircraft.

Sheikh Ahmed previously bemoaned the duopoly which exists between Boeing and Airbus when it comes to the manufacture of wide body aircraft: “We hope that somebody else will come up with something that will be different, but who will that be? Is it the Brazilians [Embraer], the Canadians [Bombardier]? They are all single-aisle aircraft,” he said.