Emirates to buy another 36 Airbus A380s in US$16bn deal

By David Flynn, January 18 2018
Emirates to buy another 36 Airbus A380s in US$16bn deal

Emirates has thrown a lifeline to the Airbus A380 with a massive order for 36 superjumbos.

Worth US$16 billion at list price – although the Gulf colossus would have struck quite a discount on the sticker price, likely well below the estimated 40% discount which applies to most aircraft from Airbus and Boeing – the contract comes on top of Emirates' 101-strong A380 fleet and a current backlog for 41 more of the double-decker jets.

Some of the new A380s, which will begin to be delivered from 2020, will be replacements for the oldest superjumbos, the airline says.

It's not known if these new orders will encompass an upgraded version of the superjumbo – dubbed the A380plus – which adds fuel-saving winglets and room for 80 more passengers.

A lack of orders had cast doubts on the future of the A380 program, but Emirates' commitment will allow the production of what is currently the world's largest commercial jetliner to continue "at least for another ten years," observed Airbus exec John Leahy.

"I’m personally convinced more orders will follow Emirates’ example and that this great aircraft will be built well into the 2030s.”

Already by far the biggest A380 customer, Emirates had repeatedly stalled on the follow-on deal, putting the future of the double-decker in doubt after it failed to win any new orders for two years.

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 May 2015

Total posts 51

Don’t know why they are doing this. I would rather 4 B777’s at different times rather than 2 A380.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 343

You should move to BNE ;)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Aug 2017

Total posts 87

Crazy I don’t think anyone’s enjoying the 2-3-2 premium economy sorry business class config on EK 777s!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 244

The problem is that there aren't always the slots available at airports like Heathrow to accommodate 2 further flights. That was the point of the A380 - to carry maximum passengers per available takeoff landing slot.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 May 2015

Total posts 51

I agree that Emirates Bussiness on the 777 isn’t good but my previous comment was more a point of having choices of when to fly.
mo
mo

22 Dec 2012

Total posts 37

Are you nuts? Would you really prefer the cramped 777 over the spacious A380?

The emirates 777 economy class is awful! I always seek out the A380 when I travel.

23 Oct 2014

Total posts 111

Wow massive gain there for Airbus. They won’t make a cent from these aircraft but it will keep the production line open for another 8-10 years which may gain airbus a few more orders to finally make some $$$ from this plane.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Jun 2011

Total posts 79

I love flying on the 380. More more more!!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Mar 2016

Total posts 169

I can understand why the A380 doesn't work for some airlines and most routes but for my passenger money it's the best aircraft by far to fly on and it'll be a sad day for passengers when it is phased out. This is great news!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Aug 2017

Total posts 87

It really is a underrated plane it offers great comfort for economy class passengers. The biggest scam going is the Dreamliner in economy class give it a fancy name suck the people in saying they won’t have jet lag and then pack them in 3-3-3 with the less amount of width per passenger ever!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1385

It won't be so comfortable if EK rolls out 3-5-3 in Economy, a config Airbus has offered

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Aug 2017

Total posts 87

There is 0 takers for the 3-5-3

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 741

Never say never
346
346

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2017

Total posts 87

This! a380 i have found is far and away the best plane to fly on

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 108

Totally agree. A380 is big and comfortable in all classes, especially with Emirates when compared to its competitors (though I am still loyal to the 747). The 787 is simply a fancy replacement for the 767 (Boeings words) with a greater range and marketing hype - however the comfort factor for passengers is limited in all classes. Amazing what PR marketing can achieve!
GMG
GMG

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

06 Jul 2015

Total posts 14

I am sure Emirates was playing the game to get the absolute best price for these. Still it doesn't say much for the 380's longer term future if the future is so inter twined with just 1 airline.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Apr 2014

Total posts 44

I'm sure Emirates were holding out to get the maximum concessions out of Airbus as you would expect. However I see the future for this aircraft as one with great potential. Many airports are already slot constrained, and the commercial aviation industry continues to grow meaning more aircraft taking off and landing. If you can't get a slot you can't expand, so you fly larger aircraft between those big hubs and run smaller aircraft to feed them. As more airlines discover the need for larger aircraft over the next ten years, I have no doubt that Airbus will be able to shuffle the delivery slots so non-Emirates customers can get hold of A380s sooner. If they're able to work with their engine partners to get a NEO option on it in those 10 years I can see it getting some more orders.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 151

As both GMG and ads086 initmated, the announcement late least year that EK were ordering a whole bunch of new 777s, when the market had been expecting an order for A380s instead, was merely a ploy to squeeze the price on the A380 just that little bit more. I adore the A380, and try and fly in nothing else for my long haul flights, and am very pleased that in my late 50s I now have a good chance of being able to stay with this plane for most of the rest of my flying life.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Feb 2017

Total posts 3

Emirates A380 is great....even the economy class (on shorter flights) is quite comfy. Just having more room on the plane makes it a better flying experience.
Great news for Airbus and Emirates,having flown the a380 a couple times out of Brisbane so much better then the 777,sad to hear they are going back to 777 for some time out of Brisbane.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 275

Great news. There is no better aircraft to fly on than the A380 as a passenger. Many seek out this aircraft type for the space and comfort.

02 Apr 2015

Total posts 8

Excellent. There's no other aircraft than the A380 that provides a better flying experience.
The flood gates for the amazing A380 will open now from Chinese airlines...this is where Airbus will make their profit.

01 Jun 2017

Total posts 11

It is a very tough decision for any airlines operating A380s. For busy hubs like Heathrow, it is no brainer A380 fits the bill perfectly. The drawbacks are how many airports are like Heathrow and also has the load of pax to be brought in on a daily basis. The new A380s with the new winglet hopefully will be fuel economical but operating a A380 still cost an arm and a leg which is not commercially viable. Airlines running A380s into Heathrow e.g. Qantas, Malaysian - they are not always full despite they have reduced frequencies. Ditching A380s altogether will only remove an option for customers seeking comfort who prefer not to squeeze into smaller aircrafts for long haul flights particularly premium passengers who used to enjoy the luxury of a bar in the upper deck. It is really a good test for Qantas on the new Perth London route otherwise the Dreamliners can be easily redeployed for the American cities or medium haul flights.

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jan 2018

Total posts 5

This may well go down as one of the worst airline decisions in history.

It will do nothing to create a second hand market for the type meaning at 10 years a heavy check or to the desert to be broken up.

No chance of any aircraft operating to the end of its initial design life.

i wonder if this deal is a risk share funding deal between EK and Airbus to try and find another unsuspecting buyer?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Apr 2015

Total posts 12

Really !!!! Seriously ????

Having flown Economy SYD-LHW Rtn on QANTAS A380's, we rate it as one of the worst air travel experiences of our lives.

We now do whatever we have to and pay whatever it costs (within reason of course) to avoid the A380 experience !!!

Mate, its not the A380 its the second rate, dated fitout of the Qantas A380's and the 1970's 'attitude of the cabin crew ie 'people should be grateful to fly Qantas cause we never crash''.QF32 put that to rest. Rolls Royce stuff up nearly ended the myth!. Why would you waste your hard earned cash on Qantas when there are amazing carriers like Singapore, Cathay, Etihad, Qatar and of course Emirates to choose from. Next time pay a little more for Singapore Airlines premium economy....I had some associates just return from London and they are still raving....and these people fly Business Class nonstop.

QF

21 May 2014

Total posts 24

I didn't know QF flew to Lanzhou???

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Mar 2013

Total posts 137

Seat wise, Qantas cram you in a bit more, so it probably isn’t the best Economy experience on them - try one of the ME3.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

19 Jan 2018

Total posts 8

I have to say I love the A380. I mostly travel internationally with Emirates (for work) and in my opinion their A380 Business Class is excellent. Far superior (in may ways) to Qantas and Etihad for instance. I'm rapt that Emirates have ordered more A380's! Apart form anything else, I find that the A380 is so much quieter than other aircraft. And that's even when travelling in Economy.
We recently flew Singapore Airlines in economy, once of the older A380s,

I must say the seat cushions are really uncomfortable now and I had to resort to two blankets folded to make a comfier cushion! First world problems....

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jul 2015

Total posts 223

Good news. On QF metal to LHR, DFW or LAX and when not so its EK through Dubai. The A380 is a very comfortable plane to fly in so. PS i may be in the minority but have always been happy with the run up to LHR through Dubai. The lounges there are great. Likely that I'll be flying EK exclusively to Europe and QF elsewhere

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2016

Total posts 19

Wholeheartedly agree. We also have done Sydney return Y, PE and Business onboard Qantas A380 to DFW, LAX and LHR and all terrific. Have done four trips across the Atlantic from DFW to LHR in BA and AA Premium, and it is nothing compared with Qantas.

Great news indeed!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Jul 2016

Total posts 23

With a resale value approaching zero they have to be pretty confident of making back the capital costs. Be interesting to see if they can make them pay their way. A multi year hit to global economic growth could see Emirates capacity surge wiped out.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

15 Jul 2016

Total posts 13

Love the 330s because you can do 2x2, but the Emirates a380 economy is a big plus with decent seat pitch. The Etihad a380 is squishy pitch and I’m in no hurry to use them again in Y. Even their long distance J was pretty average in terms of service. NZ 787 PE was fine, but Y is pretty ordinary. I have found both J and Y on 787 to be pretty ordinary (EY and NZ respectively). Overall the 787 experience has been disappointing... more like a bus than a long distance train. So keep up the a380s (and Lufthansa keep your 747-8s!)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Mar 2016

Total posts 35

Happy to hear that EK has ordered more of these fantastic planes
ZT
ZT

07 Jan 2017

Total posts 31

It appears Airbus do not expect any more carriers to order new A380's. The latest order with keep the production line open for a further 6 years. A great aircraft for the passengers but difficult to make money with for the airlines. With an empty weight of 115 tonnes greater than the B747-8 (almost 50%) the aircraft is inefficient leading to a cost imbalance.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1139

""I’m personally convinced more orders will follow Emirates’ example and that this great aircraft will be built well into the 2030s.”"

LOL famous last words.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

13 Jan 2017

Total posts 33

The many supporting comments on the A380 in this thread are likely a testament to what airline passengers prefer.
It is entirely possible that the A380 will eventually find its place and prove its worth as what it was envisaged as - a hub to hub vehicle which become more effective in time.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2017

Total posts 17

Great news for Airbus. I hope that they make a great success of it, and that there will be much more take-up of the A380 from long-haul carriers. A great aircraft to fly in, as is the 747 - 800 series. Very suitable for long-haul intercontinental, and I believe is what passengers really like as far as comfort goes. Personally, I do not like the cramped seating in the dream liners of Boeing and similar types of aircraft from Airbus on long-hauls. Give me the A380 or 747-800 any day on long hauls.

12 Aug 2017

Total posts 75

And when Emirates almost goes bust and had to re-finance?

The ME3 bubble will burst. The signs are there already: Dropping AKL, reducing Brisbane...Etihad skimping and saving ....

They do not need 140 of these A380s for their route network.

I think this is a PR stunt that will be good for both parties but won't actually materislise.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

20 Jan 2018

Total posts 33

I agree with all the comments re saleability of second hand A380s if there is not substantial takeup by other airlines. However, as a dedicated Emirates user (platinum for several years), I must say how pleasant, quiet and well serviced their A380s are, at least at the pointy end which is where I always fly. It is an enjoyable aircraft to travel on and I look forward to many more years on them with Emirates, whose network is so convenient for me.

And I agree with all those comments about Qantas. Outdated "new" interiors, shabby and ordinary service. And they continue to cancel flights and strand passengers. It is patronised by a decreasing number of diehards who don't know what they're missing on Emirates and other better airlines. I had to fly them for a few years with work, and now that I run my own business, I cannot believe the joy of Emirates in comparison to the begrudging inferior annoyances of Qantas.

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 108

The a380 (along with the 748) are built for large passenger loads on hub to hub routes - simple. They are big, comfortable and spacious and what is needed. These boutique money making a350 and 789's are for secondary routes with economics in mind, not passenger comfort. Good on Emirates for keeping the a380 alive in their fleets and giving the passengers in all classes what they deserve. 18 hours in a 789 or a350 - really!!

05 Jan 2018

Total posts 25

Agree generally but feel the a350 still substantially better than the awful 787. From my perspective, Boeings tend to be made for the airline corporations and Airbus for passengers.
ZT
ZT

07 Jan 2017

Total posts 31

Airbus now admit the order is for only 20 x A380's with options on a further 16. Still, 20 is better than nothing. Unfortunately there is no interest in 'used' A380's at this stage.

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