HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman of Emirates, has signed a contract with Airbus Industrie for three additional Airbus A330 aircraft. With this latest contract, Emirates takes up three of its options and brings the total number of A330s on firm order to 21 with three options remaining.
These three new orders will be delivered in November and December this year and March 2001. The A330-200 is gradually replacing the Emirates fleet of Airbus A310-300 and A300-600R aircraft.
Emirates, Airbus Industrie`s largest Middle East customer, had ordered 18 A330s, powered by Rolls Royce Trent 700 engines, with six options. Of these 18 orders, nine have already been delivered with the remainder scheduled to join the fleet between now and April 2002.
Emirates was the first airline in the Middle East to take delivery of the A330-200, and the first to order it with Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines. The financing agreement (for Euro 142.9 million/AED 603.60 million) for the first two A330s also broke new ground by being one of the first long-term fundings worldwide in the Euro.
Emirates also incorporated a number innovations in passenger amenities. All Business Class seats on the A330s have video cassettes installed, bringing inflight entertainment in Business Class in line with First Class and establishing a first not only for Emirates but also for any Airbus aircraft.
The airline is the first in the world to install the latest Sicma seats in First Class. These come equipped with electronically controlled overhead privacy hoods and built-in personal reading lights.
Emirates has flown Airbus widebody aircraft since the airline`s launch in 1985, with A300s and A310s being added to its fleet as it grew and prospered. Emirates has also ordered six of the world`s longest range aircraft, the A340-500, for deliveries beginning in 2002, and taken options on ten more.
Airbus Industrie is the leading airliner supplier to the Middle East, where all of the major carriers have made its aircraft part of their fleet modernisation plans.
Firm orders for the A330/A340 family stand at more than 500 from over 50 customers, making them the market leaders in their class. Almost 250 A330s and A340s are in service with some 35 customers around the world.