Airbus has been telling anyone that would listen that if Emirates didn’t place a new A380 order they’d shut down the program. The plane would enter a death spiral. Without an ongoing program for the aircraft, the value of the Emirates fleet would drop and replacement parts for the aircraft would become harder to get.
The plane may have cost as much as $25 billion just to develop, but they’ve only delivered 217 of them — about half to Emirates. Emirates for its part said they wouldn’t order more without guarantees about the future of the program (they didn’t want to dig themselves in deeper) and without a great deal on a new more efficient engine.
Emirates Airbus A380
Airbus has been publicly talking about the prospect of discontinuing the A380 for at least 3 years. However Emirates needs the program, and Airbus needs the orders, you’d rationally expect the two sides to come together — and they have.
Emirates placed an order for 36 more Airbus A380s adding to the 101 currently in their fleet and the 41 already on order. That will bring their total A380 fleet to 178 — if they take delivery of all the aircraft. 20 of the purchases are firm orders, the other 16 are options.
We are pleased to announce an order for 36 @Airbus A380s worth US$ 16 billion. This order takes our total A380 commitment to 178 aircraft, underscoring our confidence in the A380 programme. https://t.co/0izOeXDano pic.twitter.com/z4ZlBYFS15
— Emirates airline (@emirates) January 18, 2018
The ‘list price’ of the planes Emirates has ordered is $16 billion. Normally airlines pay about half of list price. In this case, since the order was necessary for Airbus to continue the program and the plane maker was likely willing to sell each plane at a lost (a charge they will deny) Emirates probably is paying less than that.
Emirates A380 First Class Shower Suite
There’s no word at this time about the configuration of the new planes. Deliveries will begin in 2020.
Watch as an Emirates Airbus A380 lands in crosswinds in Dusseldorf: