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Emirates’ Airbus Order for 15 Planes Lackluster

A350-900 Not Getting the Love After Carrier’s Tryst with Boeing

Emirates left the Dubai Airshow with a clutch of widebody orders, bringing its total backlog with the manufacturer to 65 aircraft in all.

The order saw them requisition 15 A350-900s, a fair bit fewer than originally expected. Early gossip surrounding the show pointed to disappointing performance of the -900 models in use with Emirates already. According to showtime water cooler talk, the newfangled Rolls-Royce Trent engines have proven a little high-maintenance in the Middle Eastern climate, dampening Emirates' enthusiasm to add more of the same. Evidently, the two were able to hammer out a deal that worked for each, though - but the 15-strong order pales in comparison to Emirates' recent buy from Boeing. That one had 100 aircraft.

Emirates chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum may have hinted at the aircraft's use when announcing the deal. “The A350-900s will add to our fleet mix and we are pleased to announce additional orders for this aircraft type. We plan to deploy our A350s to serve a range of new markets including long-haul missions of up to 15 hours flying time from Dubai." That may be a tacit admission that the -900s will be pressed into service in cooler regions for the time being. That would be a workable solution, since Airbus was rumored to be very optimistic it could iron out any kinks with the -900's engines (whether such kinds are real or imagined). 

"We will work closely with Airbus and Rolls-Royce to ensure our aircraft deliver the best possible operating efficiency and flying experience for our customers.”

Christian Scherer, Airbus CCO said “With this agreement we mark another solid step forward in the long standing relationship agreement between Emirates and Airbus. A relationship founded on a pursuit of innovation, efficiency and operational excellence. Just as the A380 established itself at the heart of Emirates operations, we are equally proud of what the A350 will do in the years to come.”

FMI: www.airbus.com

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