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Airbus Smarts as Boeing Enjoys Fat Order

Longtime Airbus Client Emirates Places 100-Aircraft Order with Rival

Gossip from the Airbus camp at this year's Dubai Airshow has been interesting, particularly given the carrier's decision to snag 100 new aircraft.

Reportedly, Emirates is "close to purchasing" more of its A350-900 aircraft, with fewer than expected thanks to the lackluster performance of those already in service. It's hard to tell how much of their complaints are genuine, and how much is a negotiation tactic, however. Emirates has always been very good at driving those prices down using the results of their real-world experiences. The current deal is supposedly on the rocks because their A350-900s have not had the best time in the hot Middle Eastern climate, demanding maintenance above and beyond the routine. Heading into the Dubai show Emirates already had 50 such aircraft on order, with expectations from industry folk that they would buy up 50 of the larger A350-1000. 

Bloomberg reported some interesting scuttlebutt from the Airbus camp, saying "the mood at the Airbus chalet turned gloomy after the airline’s president, Tim Clark, called the A350-1000 “defective” because of what he said are overly frequent maintenance cycles on the engines." The newfangled Rolls-Royce Trents are apparently hangar queens, or so the fastidiously picky folks at Emirates believe. The expected deal became an arrangement that would see Emirates hand over some of its -900s for conversion to the -1000 iteration "once the airline's concerns about engine performance are satisfied." Clark reportedly sees no issue with the aircraft itself, and places the blame solely on the engines. 

Unfortunately for Airbus, Emirates felt no qualms about crossing the show floor over to eternal rival Boeing . That company was able to steal a march and pull out ahead with a $52 billion deal for 90 widebody aircraft.



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