The Dubai Air Show hasn’t been as exiting for Airbus as it has been for Boeing. However the European manufacturer has managed to secure a further enhancement of the preexisting Emirates A350 order. Here’s what the agreement is all about and an interesting detail.
Emirates Order an Additional 15 Airbus A350-900
Emirates prior to the Dubai Air Show, Emirates had in the Airbus books 50 orders for A350-900. The home turf airline has now increased that order backlog to 65.
The Dubai based airline has in fact ordered a further 15 planes to further expand and fuel growth in the coming years. The A350-900 will, as the others ordered, be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB.
These 65 planes will become one of the pillars on which the Emirates long haul operations will lean on for many years to come. However there is something to be noted about the order and statement. In particular an absence.
What Emirates Didn’t Order
What will not be joining the Emirates fleet anytime soon is the larger A350-1000 which is particularly optimised for the longest ULR routes.
We know this plane won’t be joining the EK fleet anytime soon as the president of the airline Tim Clark earlier this week commented that they are still not satisfied with the, in their opinion, short maintenance cycle of the aircraft’s engines.
What the EK president stated is that there won’t be a large Emirates Airbus A350-1000 order until this is addressed. So good news for Airbus to have secured a larger number of A350-900 ordered. Not so good that the larger 1000 version is still not seen as an attractive option for its ULR services.
I also personally think that the A350-1000 overlaps in characteristics a little too much with the Boeing 777X of which Emirates has ordered a huge number. So maybe we will never see an A350-1000 in EK colours. We’ll only have to wait and see.