Emirates signs order for 50 Airbus A350

Airbus A350-900 in Emirates livery. Computer rendering

Airbus A350-900 in Emirates livery. Computer rendering

This deal is valued at United States $16 billion in list prices.

Airbus has won a $16bn (£12.3bn) order for 50 aircraft from Emirates as the Dubai-based airline continues its worldwide expansion.

Emirates, the largest carrier in the Middle East, inked a $16 billion agreement to buy 50 Airbus 350-900 aircraft, as it reorganises its fleet after cutting orders of the A380 superjumbo.

The deal signed at the show marked a final and amended version of a tentative deal for 40 A330neo aircraft and 30 A350 jets, which has been pending since the start of the year. It decided instead to opt for 50 of the lightweight A350s, citing in part the impact on lower emissions.

"Together with the A380, the A350 will give us more capacity and flexibility. We will be able to expand to new markets with these aircraft", Emirates Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum said.

Emirates has previously said it could buy 40 of Boeing's 787 Dreamliners, but has yet to firm up the order.

But it also raised questions over production rates for the once highly profitable A330 family, which has been aiming for a new lease life after switching to new Rolls-Royce engines.

"It is very good news for Airbus", the European aerospace giant's CEO Guillaume Faury said at the air show, adding he was "very proud that Airbus 350 has been selected by Emirates". "It is Emirates' long-standing strategy to invest in modern and efficient aircraft, and we are confident in the performance of the A350 XWB".

The new order will see Emirates' order book increase to 210 future deliveries while now operating 257 aircraft.

The deliveries are due to begin in May 2023. Faury told reporters on Monday A321neo deliveries should return to normal in 2021.

"The SunExpress deal may only have been for 10 aircraft - and firming options at that - but it was very important for Boeing to get some more public support for the MAX", said Dominic Perry from Flyglobal.

This news isn't the first time the airline has ordered the A350.

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