Emirates presses forward with expansion plans
Emirates airline has recently become the fourth launch customer for Airbus’ new AIRMAN software tool, designed to enhance airlines’ aircraft maintenance operations. The Dubai-based carrier is Airbus's largest A330 customer.
“This tool will provide Emirates with a simple means to operate real time, optimized maintenance activities and aircraft technical follow-up on its whole fleets,” Executive Vice President Customer Services Patrick Gavin said.
Airbus, the European airliner consortium headquartered in Toulouse, France, has attracted five airline customers to its AIRMAN package in the four months since the product’s launch: Finnair, Air France, JetBlue Airways, and now Emirates and Austrian Airlines.
Emirates, a launch customer for the Airbus 380 super-jumbo, has around four billion dollars in aircraft on order. As part of the airline’s expansion plan, the company placed with Airbus Industry 23 orders for A330s and six A340-500s, to be delivered starting 2002, as well as five Airbus A380 super-jumbos and taken an option on five more, reported AFP. The airline aims to have as many as 210 planes operational by 2010, from a current fleet of 36 planes.
Emirates reassured last week it will be maintaining delivery of the 11 aircraft on order in the next 12 months. "These are tough times for the airline industry and business in general, but we aim to take delivery of the aircraft we have ordered," Simon said. "In time the traveling public will come back. It took 15-18 months after the Kuwait crisis and this time around I suspect that it would be at least that," the group’s Director for Corporate Communications Mike Simon told Gulf News .
Following the September 11 terror attacks in the US, Emirates had announced it was reducing its flights to various destinations—including Bahrain, Muscat, Doha, Karachi, Hyderabad, Hong Kong, London, Dusseldorf and Zurich—for a two weeks’ period, due to a lack of demand. Emirates currently serves 57 destinations worldwide.
Emirates Airline and Canadian aviation simulators provider CAE signed in mid-July a 10-year agreement to build and jointly operate Emirates new Aviation Training Center (EATC) in Dubai, reported Khaleej Times. Scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2003, the 365 million dirham ($100 million) facility will include six Full Flight Simulators (FFS), including a Boeing 737-NG, an Airbus A319/A320 and A330/340.
Emirates registered a 19.8 percent jump in passengers in 2000 to 5.7 million and a 24.2 percent increase in cargo to 335,194 tons. Passenger traffic jumped 14 percent in the first six months of 2001 to 6.8 million from 5.9 million the previous year. Cargo posted eight percent growth, handling 287.9 billion kilograms up until June 30. — (Mena Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)