Emirates Airlines took delivery Monday of the first of 58 Airbus A380 superjumbo planes it has ordered and said it had signed a multibillion dollar deal to buy 60 other aircraft from the European plane builder.
Airbus CEO Tom Enders, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airlines Group, and Louis Gallois, CEO of European Aeronautic Defence and Space company (EADS), disembark from an A380 aircraft during a hand-over ceremony in Hamburg, July 28, 2008.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
The announcement came as the airline received the A380 in an elaborate hand-off ceremony in northern Germany.
Dubai-based Emirates said the deal to buy 30 A330-300s and 30 A350-XWB widebody passenger planes was part of its plans to expand its growing international network. Financial terms of the order and a delivery schedule were not revealed, however at current list prices, the deal was estimated to be worth about US$13 billion (euro8.3 billion).
"We are forging ahead with our expansion plans and the A330-300s and A350-XWBs will enable Emirates to continue its growth using modern fuel efficient aircraft," said Emirates chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum.
The A380 has been in service since Singapore Airlines took delivery of the first of the double-decker A380 planes late last year. Singapore Airlines operates five of the 19 planes it ordered on long-haul routes to Asia, Australia and Europe.
A steward poses at the economy class section of an A380 aircraft during a hand-over ceremony in Hamburg, July 28, 2008.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)