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Emirates saves future of A380 with order worth 16 billion dollars

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An Emirates Airbus A380 at France's Nice airport REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Emirates Airlines on Thursday signed a deal to buy 36 Airbus A380 passenger planes worth 13 billion euros, just days after the French-based European manufacturer said it would have to halt production without new orders.


The Dubai-based company said it had placed firm orders for 20 of the double-decker aircraft with options for a further 16.

Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2020.

"This order will provide stability to the A380 production line," the airline's chairman and CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum said.

"We've made no secret of the fact that the A380 has been a success for Emirates," he said in a statement. 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."

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

Having booked no new orders for the plane in two years, Airbus warned on Monday that it might have to end production of the A380.

It said it regarded Emirates as the only airline with the capacity to place an order of the size required to keep production going.

"This new order underscores Airbus's commitment to produce the A380 at least for another 10 years. I'm personally convinced more orders will follow Emirates' example and that this great aircraft will be built well into the 2030s," Leahy said.