Emirates Airlines has agreed to purchase 20 Airbus A380s with an option for 16 more in a deal that could total up to $16 billion, the companies said. Lagging sales of the 500-passenger Airbus superjumbo had put its future in doubt, but this order will keep it in production for the foreseeable future.
That fact was not lost on Emirates Airlines CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who noted “this order will provide stability to the A380 production line.”
Airbus produced its first A380 nearly a decade ago, in July 2008, and Airbus COO of customers John Leahy said that this commitment would keep the company producing the four-engine double-decker for at least another decade. To date, 222 have been delivered to 13 airlines, almost half of that total to Emirates Airlines.