Emirates boosts A380 order book

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Leahy has said on Monday that if a deal with Emirates could not be worked out there would be "no choice but to shut down the program".

Additional airlines and lessors with backlog A380 orders include Russia's Air Accord-an entity that took over aircraft orders transferred from defunct Russian carrier Transaero-(three in backlog); Dublin-based lessor Amedeo (20 on order, but with no announced operators); ANA (three); Qantas (eight); Qatar Airways (one); Singapore Airlines (three); and Virgin Atlantic (which has deferred its six A380s several times).

In November, Airbus suffered the embarrassment of believing it had struck a deal to sell A380s to Emirates, only to see Boeing sit on the podium with the airline and sign a $US15.1 billion ($20.6b) deal. It has been estimated that the deal will cost Emirates almost United States dollars 16 billion and the airplanes will be delivered by 2020. "Our customers love it, and we have been able to deploy it on different missions across our network, giving us flexibility in terms of range and passenger mix".

The A380 double-decker superjumbo has been thrown a lifeline after its biggest customer Emirates Airlines ordered more.

Emirates is already the world's biggest customer for the A380 with 101 in its fleet and 41 more firm orders previously placed.

The order came just days after Airbus said that it could stop making the A380 if Emirates did not increase its purchases.

Airbus produced its first A380 almost 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.

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It will also extend the life of the A380 to at least 2029, Airbus had openly admitted that without imminent new deals they would commence termination of the program.

Airbus delivered just 15 of the planes last year, and aims to deliver 12 more this year.

The A380 is an essential part of the solution to sustainable growth, alleviating traffic congestion at busy airports by transporting more passengers with fewer flights.

Rolls-Royce has built Trent 900 engines for Emirates' A380 fleet but rumours about the engines' performance has led the airline, it is understood, to open up a competition between...

The agreement calls for Emirates to take six aircraft a year for a decade as Airbus looks for other A380 business, filling a gap in planned production, a person familiar with the deal said.

Calling the deal "a relief for Airbus", independent commercial aviation expert John Strickland said it probably saved the A-380 programme. It has invited the two engine makers to compete for the new A380 order, two industry sources said.

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