After weeks of rumors that Emirates, world's largest operator of the A380, was preparing to retire 46 of its 115 super-jumbos, the airline's president says that it will now keep all of the present fleet and add three more.
However, Emirates, which has nearly half the world's A380s, is in negotiations with Airbus to cancel the last five planes on order. Airbus is resisting the idea because the last eight planes in Emirates' order, and the last eight that will ever be built, are already being assembled. Airbus is reported to be negotiating for a delay in delivery and payment rather than cancellation.
While other airlines are shedding the four-engine jumbos, Emirates has continued to believe in it, and Emirates President Tim Clark says he knows the reason why. Other airlines, he says, don't have enough of them, and don't use them properly.
He says that Air France, which has just retired its fleet of ten; Lufthansa, which is phasing out a similar fleet, British Air and other airlines that have found it uneconomical don't have the scale to make maintenance and parts efficient. And, he says, they didn't make them attractive enough; he specifically noted Air France as having installed old-fashioned and unattractive premium class seats while Emirates and others have sold luxury.