Dubai-based Emirates Airline has signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire up to 36 additional A380 aircraft.
The deal comes just days after Airbus warned it may have to scrap the programme if it could not complete the signing.
The agreement was signed this morning at the airline’s headquarters in Dubai by Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chief executive, Emirates Airline, and John Leahy, chief operating officer, customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft.
The commitment is for 20 A380s and an option for 16 more with deliveries to start in 2020, valued at US$16 billion at latest list prices.
Ahmed said: “We’ve made no secret of the fact that the A380 has been a success for Emirates.
“Our customers love it, and we’ve been able to deploy it on different missions across our network, giving us flexibility in terms of range and passenger mix.”
He added: “Some of the new A380s we’ve just ordered will be used as fleet replacements.
“This order will provide stability to the A380 production line.
“We will continue to work closely with Airbus to further enhance the aircraft and onboard product, so as to offer our passengers the best possible experience.
“The beauty of this aircraft is that the technology and real estate on board gives us plenty of room to do something different with the interiors.”
Following delivery of its first A380 in July 2008, Emirates took its 100th A380 in November 2017 in Hamburg.
“I would like to thank Emirates, sheikh Ahmed, Tim Clark and Adel Al-Redha for their continued support of the A380,” said Leahy.
“This aircraft has contributed enormously to Emirates’ growth and success since 2008 and we are delighted that it will continue to do so.
“This new order underscores Airbus’ commitment to produce the A380 at least for another ten years.
“I’m personally convinced more orders will follow Emirates’ example and that this great aircraft will be built well into the 2030s.”
Airbus regard 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.
The A380 is the best way to capture growing world air traffic, which doubles every 15 years.
It is the world’s largest aircraft, with two full widebody decks, offering widest seats, wide aisles and more floor space.
Every two minutes an A380 either takes off or lands at one of the 240 airports around the world, ready to accommodate this magnificent aircraft.
To date, 222 A380s have been delivered to 13 airlines.