As expected, Emirates confirmed at the show yesterday that it has selected the GE-P&W Engine Alliance's GP7200 engines to power the airline's follow-on order for 23 Airbus A380s.

One of the worst-kept secrets since Victoria launched her range of lingerie, the deal is worth in excess of $1.5 billion and brings the Alliance's share of the A380 market to 62% - the first time that it has led in its two-horse race with Rolls-Royce.


This latest contract is for 92 installed engines and nine spares to power a fleet of 21 A380s ordered at the Paris airshow last June, as well as two to be leased from International Lease Finance Corp (ILFC).


HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Emirates, said: "We are pleased to increase our business relationship with the Engine Alliance and are confident in its commitment to deliver an engine that will meet the airline's expectations.


"Emirates is fully committed to participating during the design and development of the engine. This working together will provide a great advantage to both the airline and the manufacturer."


In response, the Alliance's president Lloyd Thompson said: "We are delighted to have won the follow-on engine contract for the A380 selection and appreciate Emirates' confidence in our GP7200 engine. Emirates' continuous feedback is very valuable in the development phase of the engine and we are very pleased to be working with an airline like Emirates."


A clearly disappointed Rolls-Royce spokesman said: "Despite this set-back for us, Emirates is still a major customer with around 70 Rolls-Royce-powered aircraft either already in service or on order."


Emirates has now ordered or leased 45 A380s.


The airline is the largest customer for the Airbus A380 as well as for the Engine Alliance's powerplant.


When the aircraft enters Emirates' fleet in 2006 (deliveries of this latest tranche will begin in 2009) the airline anticipates flying more than twice as many passengers as today.

Source: Flight Daily News