Emirates, the first airline to sign a firm commitment and place an order for the A380 aircraft, today said it was “delighted, but not surprised” by the decision of manufacturer Airbus Industrie to sanction the superjumbo project.
The Dubai-based international carrier ordered seven A380 aircraft in July - five passenger and two freight versions - in a deal worth $1.5 billion. It has options on a further five superjumbos for its passenger fleet.
The airline’s chairman, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, said: “All of us at Emirates are delighted, but not surprised, that the supervisory board of Airbus has given the green light to build the A380.
“With air travel set to double in 15 years, a move towards larger aircraft such as the A380 is the practicable way to meet passenger demand.”
The airline expects delivery of its first A380 in February 2006.
Emirates plans to operate its fleet of superjumbos from Dubai to London, North America and the Far East.