Airbus A380 saved by new $16B deal


Airbus and Emirates yesterday announced a deal for the Gulf airline to buy A380 superjumbos, ending doubts about the future of the world's largest passenger jet. Emirates Airlines said yesterday it has struck a $16 billion deal to buy 36 Airbus A380 superjumbos. The European aircraft manufacturer had said on Monday that without a deal with Emirates, the largest customer for the A380, it might have to stop production.

"This new order underscores Airbus' commitment to produce the A380 at least for another 10 years," the manufacturer's chief operating officer for customers, John Leahy, said yesterday. Airbus says it needs to produce six A380s a year for the production line to be viable. In 2017 it won no new orders for the superjumbo and two existing orders were cancelled.

The memorandum of understanding signed yesterday includes a firm commitment to buy 20 aircraft and an option on another 16, with deliveries to start in 2020. Airbus listed the average price of an A380 as 436.9 million dollars in 2017, although in practice sales are usually made at confidential negotiated prices. The A380, which has a theoretical maximum capacity of 853 passengers, first entered commercial service in 2008. Emirates runs 101 of the 222 A380s in operation worldwide.

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