Emirates has inked a deal for 50 Airbus A350-900 XWBs at the Dubai Air Show, an order that is worth around $16 billion USD. The aircraft is said to be a good fit for operations for the Middle Eastern carrier and will feature the new premium economy class.
What are the details?
In a surprising move on the second day of the Dubai Air Show, Emirates called a last-minute press conference with just an hour’s notice. Rumors flew as to what the event could be about, with ideas that it might be a joint release with not only Rolls Royce and Airbus, but Boeing as well.
As the Emirates president took to the stage and the media packed into the small hall, the answer was revealed.
Emirates has signed a deal with Airbus for 50 Airbus A350-900 XWBs. This deal is expected to be worth around $16 billion USD according to list prices. Emirates originally had an order for 30 A350 as part of their deal during the closure of the A380 program but has since expanded it by another 20 to reach 50 today.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in the Airbus Press Release: “Today, we are pleased to sign a firm order for 50 A350-900 XWBs, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. This follows a thorough review of various aircraft options and of our own fleet plans. It is Emirates’ long-standing strategy to invest in modern and efficient aircraft, and we are confident in the performance of the A350 XWB.”
Emirates was long famous for having only A380 and Boeing 777 in their fleet, but has since rapidly expanded into other plane types such as the Boeing 777X, the Airbus A330-900, and the A350.
“Complementing our A380s and 777s, the A350s will give us added operational flexibility in terms of capacity, range and deployment. In effect, we are strengthening our business model to provide efficient and comfortable air transport services to, and through, our Dubai hub.”
What will the new aircraft feature?
The aircraft is expected to also feature the new premium economy cabin that Emirates will roll out in the next few years. We predict that the seat could be produced by HAECO. Read our story on this here.
The aircraft will be powered by Rolls Royce XWB engines, which will provide excellent power to fuel consumption ratio for the fleet. The CEO of Airbus said that they were privileged that Emirates had selected the A350 and that it was a good fit for the airline.
Here at Simple Flying, we can’t wait to see what Emirates does with this aircraft. With the new premium economy cabin and extra space afforded by the aircraft, the possibilities will be endless. With such a huge order, this makes Emirates the future third-biggest operator of the type, following Qatar with 76 and Singapore with 67 respectively. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2023 until 2028.
“We are honored by Emirates’ strong vote of confidence in our newest widebody aircraft, taking our partnership to the next level. The A350 will bring unbeatable economics and environmental benefits to their fleet,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to seeing the A350 flying in Emirates colors!”
Questions still remain about Emirates A330-900 order (for 40 aircraft) and as it has yet to be inked by the team here in Dubai, likely delayed beyond the scope of the show (after all, why not announce them all at the same time). Although judging by the pattern of increasing the A350 order from 30 to 50, perhaps the A330neo order might increase upwards aswell.
What do you think about this order? Will you be riding in an Emirates A350? Let us know in the comments.