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It’s been a very big week for the Airbus A380. First, Singapore Airlines unveiled its incredible superjumbo refresh, including a brand-new first-class Suite, and on Friday Emirates took delivery of its 100th double-decker plane, which comes complete with the airline’s latest first, business and economy-class products, plus the brand-new upper-deck bar.
I was at the delivery ceremony in Hamburg, Germany, which was attended by top Airbus and Emirates executives, including Emirates Chairman and CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates President Sir Tim Clark and Airbus CEO Tom Enders.
This was a huge moment for both companies, and there’s no question that Emirates is critical to the A380’s success — so much so that without more orders from the airline, the future of the superjumbo program will be in serious jeopardy.
Well, there’s a bit of good news for Airbus on that front — while it was by no means a firm commitment, Emirates’ CEO did say that the carrier is in discussions for additional A380s, and that if all of the pieces fall into alignment, there could be an order as soon as the Dubai Air Show later this month. After today’s 100th delivery, Emirates still has another 42 A380s on the way — an order in Dubai would add to that number, further extending the life of the program.
Emirates is already the world’s largest A380 operator by a large margin, flying the plane to a total of 48 destinations on all continents except Antarctica . On average, the airline receives 11 superjumbos each year, though production has ramped up recently, with a total of 19 new A380s entering the fleet in the carrier’s most recent fiscal year.
I’ll have much more to share about the 100th plane itself shortly — including a full aircraft tour and an up-close look at that super-sleek new business-class bar — so don’t go away!
This post has been amended to note that Emirates flies to all continents except Antarctica.
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