Emirates has firmed orders for the first 20 Airbus A380s which were part of a recent broader agreement for up to 36 of the double-deck type.

The Dubai-based airline signed the deal as the World Government Summit opened in the United Arab Emirates city.

Airbus says the carrier will start taking delivery of the jets "as early as" 2020.

The airframer tells FlightGlobal that the production schedule for the 20 aircraft is set to run to 2027. If the additional 16 options are firmed, this will extend Emirates A380 production to 2029.

Emirates has yet to select a powerplant option for the A380s. It has both Engine Alliance GP7200 and Rolls-Royce Trent 900 versions in its A380 fleet, which stood at 101 aircraft at the end of last year.

Firming of the initial part of the agreement takes Emirates' backlog of A380s to 61.

"We look forward to continue working with Airbus to further enhance the aircraft and on-board product," says Emirates Group chief Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

Airbus says the 16 options are to be "confirmed at a later date".

Source: Cirium Dashboard