Airbus Industrie has confirmed orders from two customers, Emirates and International Lease Finance (ILFC), for up to 26 A340-500/600s. The two deals have an estimated value of $3.8 billion, including options.

ILFC's deal for 10 Rolls-Royce Trent 500-powered A340s includes five firm orders and five options, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2002. The first two aircraft will be taken as -600s while the remaining eight are contracted as -500s. ILFC can convert these to the larger model later if required.

The US leasing company, which is Airbus' largest customer with some 282 aircraft ordered, also signed for another six single-aisle models. John Plueger, ILFC's chief operating officer, says that the lessor is interested in the new A318 and expected to begin discussions soon about an order now that Airbus has authority to offer.

Emirates confirmed its long- held commitment for up to 18 A340-500s, including firm orders for six aircraft and 10 options. Deliveries of the aircraft will begin in 2002. Emirates says that the 280-seat A340s will be used for new non-stop routes from its Dubai base to points in North America and Australia.

Emirates has also become the first Boeing 777 lease customer for Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise (SALE), with a deal for two Rolls-Royce Trent 892-powered 777-300s. The aircraft will be delivered in November and December 1999 on 10-year operating leases, and will be operated alongside the airline's existing fleet of seven 777-200s (plus two on order). SALE has four more 777s on firm order, and 10 more aircraft on option.

Source: Flight International