Good afternoon from warm and sunny Dubai. As you may know, I’m over here for the air show and while yesterday was a quiet day in regard to orders or big announcements, today has been a little bit more exciting. Yesterday the only real news was Biman ordering some aircraft but that’s not really an airline I tend to cover. This morning there’s been two announcements from major airlines in the UAE, both Etihad and Emirates. One of the carriers announced quite a major development while the other made news with something not quite as exciting, depends who’s reading I guess.
Emirates has today announced at a press conference that they have ordered 50 Airbus A350’s with a total cost being 16 billion dollars, for all Australian readers, that’s a total of AUD $23,480,896,000.00.
This isn’t actually the first time the airline has ordered A350’s, back in February of this year, the mega carrier announced that they’d ordered not only 30 A350-900 aircraft but on top of that, they also placed an order for 40 A330-900’s however, today’s big announcement means that the airline will cancel the previous order and stick with the 50 they announced today.
“Complementing our A380s and 777s, 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.”
“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,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to seeing the A350 flying in Emirates colours!”
This is huge news for the airline as not only they’re taking delivery of more A350’s than originally ordered but this also means Airbus’ A330-900 program could be in a little trouble as most airlines have actually pulled out of their orders and selected the much better fitting -800 variant.
It’s also exciting as this means Emirates will no doubt be bringing out new cabins but at this stage, there’s no information as to how many cabins will be fitted, where it’ll operate and it’s overall configuration which will all be revealed closer to the date of delivery.
It’ll be most likely that the airline will fit it out in a 3 class configuration with business class, their premium economy (which isn’t yet been unveiled) and economy as I can’t see it being a logical idea putting first in the aircraft but again, time will tell.
The airline has stated that they’ll be taking official delivery of the aircraft in May of 2023, pending no delays in delivery or change to the order. I honestly can’t wait to see what Emirates has in store for this aircraft and it’ll look fantastic in the paint scheme, I really am a sucker for the A350 – it’s just a stunning aircraft.