LONDON – Emirates (EK), the world’s largest Airbus A380 operator, is likely to get more out of its superjumbos after the pandemic, when most global airlines are expected to permanently retire the aircraft from their fleets.
This is according to EK President Sir Tim Clark, who said that EK’ Airbus A380s still have a huge role to play in the airline’s business model in the future in spite of COVID-19.
The company grounded its fleet of 115 double-decker aircraft in March following COVID-19 related border closures. EK has only reintroduced the jet on a select number of popular routes.
Plans for the Superjumbo
Many companies have already decided to retire the Airbus A380 from their fleets, saying that the aircraft is too expensive to run in the wake of the pandemic. They will instead focus on newer, more efficient widebody jets like Boeing 787s and Airbus A350s.
Also, EK has opted for new Airbus A350s, Boeing 787s, and Boeing 777Xs following the discontinuation of Airbus’ superjumbo, but the airline still has eight Airbus A380s on order.
As one of the only airlines to have crafted a business model capable of operating Airbus A380s profitably, EK does not have plans to drastically restructure its fleet set-up any time soon.
According to Aviation Business, Clark confirmed that the airline is proceeding with its delivery schedule with one Airbus A380 coming in November and another in December 2020.
Statement from Emirates
In an exclusive interview with Aviation Business, Sir Tim Clark, said, “The Airbus A380 was probably the best thing that could have happened to Emirates and certainly Dubai.”
“We value it enormously, we regret the fact it’s gone out of production, but that is testament to the strength of our business model, where others have tried to use it and failed. It’s been enormously successful for us, in many, many ways, directly and indirectly. So we will have to manage eventually the departure of the aeroplane. But we’re a long way off from that.”
Featured image: Emirates Airbus A380-861 reg. A6-EOA taking off from Dusseldorf International Airport (DUS). Photo: Marco Macca – @aviator_ita