Emirates places $11bn order for Airbus A380s
Dubai, June 8, 2010
Dubai's Emirates, the Arab world's largest airline, has placed an $11 billion order for 32 A380 jets from EADS's Airbus unit, the biggest ever for the company's superjumbo passenger plane.
The vote of confidence came as EADS prepared to show off the capabilities of its embattled A400M military transporter plane at the Berlin Air Show, and as it faces a simmering dispute with German military bosses over problems with two of its new helicopters.
Emirates' order would be worth $11.09 billion at a list price of $346.5 million per plane and brings the airline's total A380 order to 90 planes.
Emirates became Dubai's flagship company and one of the biggest contributors to the local economy after the property crisis devastated real estate firms. The government-owned group expects to earn $1.16 billion in 2010.
The carrier, which started in 1985 with two planes, has grown to rival the likes of Qantas and Singapore Airlines for passenger traffic between Europe and east Asia.
The order made for a splash start to the Berlin show, a biennial event that tends to be overshadowed by larger events and larger orders elsewhere.
It was big enough to attract the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, even as she came under fire from the rest of the global aviation industry for proposing a new passenger tax.
Just as Emirates announced the order, a giant A400M buzzed the show, demonstrating its aerobatic abilities.
The A400M European troop transporter was built to provide much-needed airlift to seven European Nato nations but is four years late and almost 8 billion euros over budget.-Reuters