Emirates firms order for 50 A380s

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Middle Eastern carrier Emirates has firmed its order for 50 Airbus A380s which was initially disclosed during the Dubai air show in November.

The Dubai-based carrier, which has 44 Engine Alliance GP7200-powered A380s in operation, has not indicated an engine selection for the additional jets.

Signature of the agreement brings the number of A380s ordered by the airline to 140. Airbus has not stated when deliveries of the 50 extra aircraft will begin.

Airbus says the deal is a "major vote of confidence" in the aircraft. The airframer still has an outstanding order for 20, from lessor Doric Lease, which is yet to be firmed.

Emirates Airline president Tim Clark says: "The A380 is our flagship aircraft. It is popular with our customers and delivers results for us in terms of operational performance."

Signature of the agreement takes to 309 the total number of A380s ordered, with Emirates by far the largest customer.