Emirates has completed its $23 billion purchase for 50 Airbus
A380s originally announced as an agreement at the Dubai Airshow in November, Airbus
said Monday Dec. 23.
Tim Clark, president of Emirates, finalized the contract during a visit to Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France. The Dubai-based carrier now has a total
of 140 orders in its backlog for Airbus A380s.
Clark called the A380 the airline's "flagship aircraft."
"This order is a major vote of confidence in the A380. Since delivery of their first aircraft in July 2008, Emirates’ A380 fleet has grown to be the largest in the world with 44 A380s in operation," said John Leahy, chief operating officer of Airbus.
Emirates will use one of its newly acquired A380s to replace a Boeing
777-300ER on routes to London's Gatwick airport, adding a 36 percent increase in capacity on one of its three daily flights. That will also make Emirates the first airline to operate an A380 to Gatwick.
“Our long term strategic partnership with London Gatwick enables us to bring our flagship A380 on a regularly scheduled basis and build on our robust presence at the airport," said Thierry Antinori, executive vice president of Emirates.