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15 March 2020
BUSINESS

Dubai’s Emirates seeks to delay last deliveries of Airbus A380s

The state-owned airline announced that it was trimming costs to cope with a rapid pullback in travel and mounting restrictions in place to combat the disease

Emirates fleet comprises of 115 Airbus A380 and 115 Boeing 777/Bloomberg

by Bloomberg

Emirates Airline, the top customer for Airbus’ A380 double-decker jetliner is seeking to delay delivery of the last handful of orders, as the coronavirus pandemic eviscerates demand for flight.

The world’s largest long-haul airline still plans to take the eight remaining A380s and is discussing the timing of the handovers with Airbus. The talks are ongoing, and no decision has been taken on when Emirates will receive the planes.

Emirates, by far the biggest customer for the A380, had already pared back its order last year, prompting Toulouse, France-based Airbus to wind down production of what was once its flagship product. Now it and other airlines including Lufthansa and Qantas are parking the planes, which are hard to fill in configurations that can exceed 600 passengers.

Low demand for travel prompted the Middle Eastern carrier to ground more than 20 Airbus A380 planes. Emirates fleet comprises of 115 Airbus A380 and 115 Boeing 777.

Last year’s decision by Emirates kicked off a sweeping fleet review at the carrier, with the superjumbo ceding its role as the linchpin of a strategy that made Dubai the leading hub for flights around the globe. Airbus announced at the time that A380 production would end in 2021.

With the coronavirus crisis upon them, airlines around the globe are deferring aircraft deliveries of all stripes to preserve cash and lower operating expenses. According to the International Air Transport Association, passenger revenues could drop as much as $113 billion this year if the virus spreads extensively.


RELATED STORIES: Emirates Airlines Airbus A380

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