Emirates Wide-body Aircraft Tally Hits 224 With 50th Superjumbo

July 11--The new aircraft will boost the airline?s weekly available seat per kilometres to 5.7 billion across its worldwide network of 145 destinations.

The world's leading airline Emirates on Thursday hit another milestone as it received delivery of its 50th A380 in the German city of Hamburg, bringing its tally of wide-body fleet to 224 aircraft.

The new aircraft is expected to be inducted in service by August and will boost the airline's weekly available seat per kilometres (ASKMs) to 5.7 billion across its worldwide network of 145 destinations. Since 2007 when first A380 entered in service, it is the 136th superjumbo that has been delivered in total. Today, as many as 11 international carriers are using A380 aircraft, which flies 8,500 nautical miles or 15,700 kilometres non-stop.

The Dubai-based airline, which has 299 wide-body aircraft on its order book, will boost its A380 fleet to 90 by 2017 that will help support existing and new routes across the globe. It holds the world's largest fleet of superjumbos as well as Boeing 777s.

The leading international carrier has ordered 140 superjumbos in total. It took the delivery of first A380 in July 2008 and then received 25th superjumbo aircraft in October 2012. All Emirates' A380 are powered by Engine Alliance GP72000 engines.

Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates airline said, Emirates has seen tremendous organic growth in the past four years, probably the fastest of any airline in history.

"We've literally added capacity equivalent to what some mid-sized airlines operate, but more significantly, we have maintained high seat loads and profitability," he said.

Since April 2010, Emirates has received 96 aircraft -- all A380s and Boeing 777s, increasing its overall capacity by 64 per cent in ATKMs and 71 per cent in ASKMs, while consistently maintaining seat load factors of close to 80 per cent. During this period, Emirates also added 48 cities to its global destination network. "The A380 has been very successful for us. We will see quite a ramp up in the delivery programme and by late 2017 we will have around 90 A380s in our fleet to support existing and new A380 routes," Sir Clark said in a statement.

John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer (customers), said the A380 is pleasing its operators by increasing passenger traffic, strengthening load factors and improving their market share.

"The delivery of the 50th A380 to Emirates shows the profit enhancing capabilities of this aircraft and the extraordinary vision of Emirates and Sir Tim Clark," Leahy said.

"Emirates continued faith in the A380 demonstrates just how energetic and robust its long term growth is to keep on inducting such a huge airplane that has struggled to win over airlines around the globe," Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at London-based StrategicAero Research, told Khaleej Times on Thursday.

He said the A380 is Emirates signature showpiece and with a new set of cabin products soon to be showcased on the world's biggest airplane, Emirates flies the leviathan jet on 30 international destinations to key hubs like London Heathrow, New York, Shanghai, Munich and Los Angeles.

"If Emirates makes a move to the bigger airport at Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central, it is conceivable that the airline could retain a fleet of at least 100 or more A380s, even after accounting for the early A380s in the fleet that will be retired or come off lease," Ahmad said.

For the ferry flight from Hamburg to Dubai, the aircraft was loaded with 41 tonnes of relief good, which will be deployed in cooperation with Action Contre la Faim to a UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Dubai. This is the biggest amount which has ever been transported on a single flight organised by the Airbus Corporate Foundation.

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--muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com

Copyright 2014 - Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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