Emirates, the Dubai-based international airline, announced that it has placed the biggest order in civil aviation history, worth $19 billion. The fast-growing carrier confirmed purchase orders for 21 more Airbus A380-800s, and leasing orders for two A380-800s. The additional 23 aircraft bring Emirates' total order for the giant double-deck jetliner to 45, the most ordered by any airline.
At the same time, Emirates announced operating lease orders for 26 Boeing 777-300ERs, 14 from General Electric Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) and 12 from the International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), and powered by General Electric GE90-115B engines.
The new aircraft will provide much-needed extra capacity on existing routes and help it continue to expand its network, which has already risen to 66 cities in 46 countries since services started in 1985.
Emirates also announced orders for more four-engined A340s, purchasing two more ultra-long-range A340-500 and 18 of the larger A340-600 Higher Gross Weight aircraft, as well as leasing two A340-600s from the International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC). This makes Emirates the launch customer for the A340-600 HGW.
The confirmed orders announced at the Paris Air Show, along with those revealed at the Dubai Air Show two years ago, bring Emirates' current total order book to $26 billion. The extra Airbus A380 orders cover four versions: a 533-seat three-class aircraft; a 653-seat two-class aircraft; a 500-seater able to fly non-stop from Dubai to Australia; and two freighters. They enter service from 2006. Deliveries of A340-500 start this year and of A340-600s from June 2007.
The expanded order book will increase Emirates' fleet to 125 aircraft by 2012, as part of long-term plans to serve many new countries. The new jets will also boost flights on existing routes to Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
Emirates' emergence as a global brand reflects Dubai's vision to become the leading aviation hub of the 21st century. By 2010 Emirates expects to carry 29 million people and 1.5 million tons of cargo a year, one reason why it is now the world's biggest buyer of new aircraft. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )