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Emirates airline could buy 60-80 more A380s if engines upgraded

July 19, 2014

Emirates, the largest customer for the Airbus A380, had ordered 140 of the aircraft as of November.

Emirates airline could buy an additional 60 to 80 Airbus A380s if the four-engined superjumbo were revamped with more fuel-efficient engines by 2020, the airline's Chief Executive Tim Clark said, according to the Financial Times.

Emirates, the largest customer for the Airbus A380, had ordered 140 of the aircraft as of November.

"We have made it crystal clear to (Airbus) in the event of the (A380) neo being launched we would buy it," the FT quoted Clark as saying.

Emirates has previously expressed interest in applying the lessons of other Airbus re-engining projects nicknamed 'neo' or new engine option to the A380. Clark told Reuters last month that the neo could mean a 10-12 per cent performance improvement, if it were built.

Such a project would involve an upgraded engine from Rolls-Royce, as well as some weight reduction and better aerodynamics on the aircraft.

Airbus has so far refused to commit to a revamp for the A380, saying only that it would study the case for such an aircraft entering service sometime in the 2020s, the FT said.

It added that Clark said he expected Emirates to move to a new, bigger airport sometime after 2020 and that its fleet of A380s could grow from 50 today to as many as 180 as a result.

Emirates did not respond immediately to a request for comment by Reuters. Airbus expects to win at least one order from the Middle East for a revamped version of its twin-aisle A330 jet before the end of the year, its sales chief said on Thursday.

The planemaker closed the Farnborough Airshow taking place this week with total orders and commitments for 496 aircraft, including 121 for the A330neo, which was launched on Monday.

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Source: Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)

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