Airbus says no one benefits from Boeing 737 crashes… as it wins another $16 billion order
Dubai-based airline Emirates has ordered 50 Airbus A350 aircraft in the first major deal at the Dubai Airshow 2019 after the opening day of the expo ended with disappointing sales.
The order for A350 jets, worth $16 billion at list prices, at the aerospace event is set to serve a range of new markets, including on long-haul flights of up to 15 hours, the carrier announced on Monday. Delivery of the planes is to start in May 2023, and will continue until 2028.
However, the deal means that airline scraps its previous plan to buy a total of 70 A330neos and A350s. The order was announced in February, when Emirates cut the number of orders for the A380 super-jumbo, the world’s biggest passenger jet. The carrier is the number one buyer of the iconic double-decker aircraft, and will receive the last plane of the model in 2021.
“Complementing our A380s and 777s, the A350s will give us added operational flexibility in terms of capacity, range and deployment,” Emirates chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said.
The $16 billion deal came after the first day of the Middle East’s flagship airshow failed to secure any big ticket orders despite the event being known for record-breaking agreements in the past. The only order seen on Sunday was for two 787-9 Dreamliners from Biman Bangladesh Airlines, reportedly worth around $585 million.
Major aerospace exhibitions usually see fierce competition for deals from rivals including Europe’s Airbus and US’ Boeing. However, the American planemaker is currently dealing with the consequences of two 737 MAX jet crashes which claimed lives of 346 people. The jets remain grounded worldwide waiting for regulatory approval for a software update. Some airlines cancelled their orders for Boeing aircraft, while many had to deal with massive damages due to the grounding.
Meanwhile, Airbus’ chief corporate officer Christian Scherer believes that his company does not benefit from its main competitor’s troubles.
“I really need to correct that cultural belief [that the 737 MAX’s grounding benefited Airbus],” he told CNBC. “This does not benefit anyone in this industry, the least of which would be Airbus.”
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