Emirates airline obtains its first A380

Dubai-based airline company Emirates welcomed its first giant A380. With a new fleet of up to 60 more Airbus planes on the way, the airline is launching non-stop service from Dubai to New York on August 1.


The Gulf airline Emirates has signed a letter of intent to buy 60 more Airbus planes, comprising 30 A330-300s and 30 A350s, its chief executive Sheikh Ahmed ibn Said al-Maktoum said here Monday.

He was in this northern port city to take delivery of Emirates' first A380 super jumbo jet.

The long-haul aircraft have a catalogue price of about 200 million dollars (125 million euros) apiece, which would put the order at about 12 billion dollars, though large customers normally obtain discounts on their orders.

Emirates is the biggest Middle Eastern airline and has withstood the rising price of jet fuel which has caused major concern for carriers around the world.

The largest customer of the Airbus A380 with 58 on order, Emirates said in June it would launch nonstop service between Dubai and New York on August 1, the first service to the United States with the world's biggest passenger jet.

Other destinations scheduled to be served with the A380 were London, Sydney and Auckland.

"A380 will represent... one of the essential pillars for Emirates' growth in the future," Sheikh Maktoum said on Saturday.

Emirates, also the fastest growing carrier in the Middle East, has had a long wait for delivery of the A380 superjumbo after repeated Airbus delays. The first plane had initially been scheduled for October 2007.

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