UAE flag carrier Emirates is reportedly in discussions to defer its final Airbus A380 deliveries. The news, although unconfirmed at this point, was first published by Bloomberg.
Airlines around the globe are currently struggling with the effect of a serious drop in demand. This has been brought on by the ongoing virus epidemic, which in turn has left people worried about traveling. As a result, airlines have been looking to cut costs, with many seeking to ground their fleet of Airbus A380s. It looks like Emirates is now also looking at what it can do.
Emirates – A unique airline
Emirates operates a fairly unique fleet. The United Arab Emirates carrier has just two aircraft in its fleet, both of which are widebodies. Many airlines have small fleets of Airbus A380s. However, this is not the case with Emirates. Almost half of the airline’s fleet is made up of the Airbus A380.
As such, the airline is stuck between a rock and a hard place when global demands drops, as it has now. It can’t substitute smaller aircraft onto low demand routes as it just doesn’t have them. It also can’t ground its big aircraft as these are the only planes it has.
Deferred Airbus A380 deliveries
According to Bloomberg, people familiar with the matter have said that Emirates is looking to defer delivery of its final eight Airbus A380s. Nine Airbus A380 orders are outstanding, with the other one due to go to Japanese carrier ANA.
Bloomberg reported that Emirates “still plans to take the eight remaining A380s and is discussing the timing of the handovers with Airbus”. Of course, as all of the aircraft have started to be built, if Emirates doesn’t accept them straight away, they will likely end up sat at Toulouse or elsewhere.
Simple Flying contacted a spokesperson for Emirates regarding the matter. They declined the opportunity to add a comment.
Emirates had desired a larger fleet of A380s
The news that Emirates is looking to delay deliveries of its final few Airbus A380s is a stark difference to the airline’s previous position. The airline had initially been planning for a much larger fleet of Airbus A380s. In fact, as a result of downsizing A380 orders, Dubai World Central had to undergo a redesign before it was even built.
Sheikh Ahmed, CEO of the Emirates Group, previously told Simple Flying: “[Emirates] need [Dubai World Central]” due to the projected size of its fleet in 10 years’ time. However, he went on to mention that “the model has changed,” saying:
“The model when we were talking before was around A380s, and that’s gone. It’s not my decision. I cannot build it for something I know it is not going [to get]… I have to change the model, the gates, the building size”
Do you think Emirates should delay its Airbus A380 deliveries? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!