Emirates airline, Airbus Industrie's first launch customer for the A3XX, welcomed the manufacturer's green light for the $12 billion superjumbo, saying the development of such long-range airplanes is badly needed by the industry, reported the English daily Gulf News.
"Emirates firmly believes there is an immediate need for larger aircraft, let alone in five years' time," said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai civil aviation.
"The A3XX can be justified by simple arithmetic. We expect to be carrying more than twice as many passengers by 2006 and, while Emirates is growing far faster than other major carriers, the industry needs larger aircraft today," he said.
Take-off and landing slots, according to Sheikh Ahmed, are already scarce at major airports, and with the world's aviation market set to grow at 5 percent annually, thus doubling in 12 years, bigger aircraft are the only option to meet demand.
"The A3XX will offer 25-30 per cent more capacity than the next biggest aircraft. With upwards of 555 seats in a three-configuration cabin, and with its lower operating costs, the A3XX will help us continue the trend of providing cheaper airline travel," he told the paper.
Emirates announced two months ago that it would be the first launch customer for the A3XX, placing orders for five aircraft and five options, including two freighters, according to the paper - Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)