Emirates To Order 12 More 777s
The A380 wiring crisis may be over... but European
planemaker Airbus is still experiencing fallout from delays in
production of the mammoth airliner because of it. Thursday, reports
surfaced Arab carrier Emirates plans to order 12 additional Boeing
777-300ERs to "plug the gap" in its routes caused by late
deliveries of the A380.
"We've ordered 54 777-300ERs already to help us plug the gap
left by the A380 on routes like New York, Sydney and Melbourne,"
Emirates Vice Chairman Maurice Flanagan told Bloomberg this week.
"We're now going to order 12 more 777-300ERs for delivery hopefully
in 2008 for the same reason."
Flanagan adds the order is "imminent,"
The news is disquieting to Airbus for a couple of reasons. With
45 orders for the A380, Emirates is the largest customer for the
double-decker plane... and, arguably, holds the most influence over
Airbus should any further problems crop up with the aircraft.
Already, Emirates has demanded steep concessions from Airbus due to
the previous three delays in the program.
"We won't be modest in our demands," Flanagan said. "When we get
our first A380, we should have had 18; (it's) a huge hit on the
airline and on its revenue producing capability."
An order for 12 more Boeing 777s would also make Emirates the
carrier with the largest fleet of Boeing's long-legged, widebody
twinjet... surpassing current leader Singapore Airlines by six
aircraft. Each 777 in either carrier's fleet is also, in theory,
one less potential A350XWB order for Airbus, when that plane comes
online in 2013.
That's a big deal, especially as Emirates is also mulling over
an order for as many as 100 midsized widebody airliners in the near
"We'll make our minds up on this order when we're entirely clear
on what these models offer," he said. "We're not clear on the A350
widebody yet. We expect a clear picture from Airbus in a few