Emirates orders 15 Airbus A350-900s after engine dispute over larger jet

DUBAI, Nov 16 (Portal) – Airbus (AIR.PA) won a consolation order for 15 more A350-900 jets from Emirates on Thursday after a public row between the Middle Eastern giant and engine maker Rolls-Royce ( RR.L) had prevented an order deal for a larger model at the Dubai Airshow.

Emirates Chairman and CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said the long-haul aircraft would “expand our fleet mix and we are pleased to announce further orders for this aircraft type.”

Industry sources described the $6 billion deal as a compromise after Emirates publicly criticized the performance and cost of Rolls-Royce engines for the A350-1000 because of the downtime required in the harsh Gulf conditions.

Sheikh Ahmed said Emirates will “work closely with Airbus and Rolls-Royce to ensure our aircraft provide our customers with the best possible operational efficiency and flying experience.”

Emirates is by far the biggest user of the Airbus A380, having invested heavily in the world’s largest airliner, and is now planning the fleet needed to keep its super-hub Dubai at the center of the aviation map beyond the 2030s.

The airline opened the air show this week with a $52 billion order for 90 more Boeing 777X planes, saying the U.S. plane maker appeared to be getting to grips with regulatory and other issues surrounding its arrival after five years of delays .

However, Emirates Airline President Tim Clark refused to place a major order for Airbus’ broadly similar A350-1000, sharply criticizing Rolls-Royce for the engines’ durability in the region’s hot and sandy conditions.

Rolls-Royce acknowledged that its engine for the A350-1000 would require more maintenance than Emirates would like, but rejected Clark’s claim that the engine was “defective”.

Emirates has already ordered 50 A350-900s, which are expected to arrive from August next year.

Delegates earlier said a top-up order for the same model would be seen as a consolation prize for Airbus after Boeing won the most orders, but questions remained over its ability to compete with Boeing’s 777X in the Gulf’s busy wide-body jet market .

Investors are expected to question Rolls-Royce about the durability and pricing of its engines at an investor day on November 28.

BOEING DOMINATES ORDERS

In a week marked by rising demand for wide-body aircraft, Boeing won new orders for 196 planes at the Dubai Airshow, while Airbus signed contracts for 55 jets.

Airbus said it had reached an “agreement in principle” on a significant order from Turkish Airlines, but industry sources said the deal had not yet been signed.

In addition to its contract for 90 777X jets, Emirates agreed to purchase five additional 787 Dreamliners. Sister airline flyDubai ordered 30 787 Dreamliners, its first widebody order.

Turkey-based low-cost airline SunExpress opened the show with an order for 45 Boeing 737 MAX narrow-body aircraft.

Ethiopia Airlines announced the purchase of 20 737 MAX jets almost five years after the deadly MAX crash in 2019 that grounded the global fleet. In addition, 11 Dreamliners were ordered.

EgyptAir said it would order 10 A350-900s from Airbus, while AirBaltic said it would buy 30 Airbus A220-300s.

Royal Air Maroc signed a repeat order for two more 787 Dreamliners. EgyptAir said it will lease 18 new Boeing 737 MAX jets from Air Lease Corp (AL.N).

Reporting by Tim Hepher, Alexander Cornwell and Pesha Magid; Edited by Jan Harvey

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Originally posted 2023-11-16 10:40:17.


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