Emirates would sign up for another 60-70 A380s if Airbus is prepared to develop an enhanced “A380neo” derivative, the airline's president Tim Clark says.
Dubai-based Emirates already has orders for 140 A380s, of which 50 have been delivered. Clark has previously stated his desire for Airbus to develop an enhanced version powered by advanced engines from Rolls-Royce and he upped the ante at World Routes in Chicago: “We’re in the market for another 60-70 A380s on top of the 140, if they do what I think [they should] with the aeroplane,” Clark said, speaking at the Strategy Summit at World Routes.
Such a deal would take the airline’s orderbook for the A380 to 200 aircraft. Emirates is already by far the largest customer for the A380, with its 140 orders representing almost 45% of the superjumbo’s 318 sales.
However Clark concedes that he has so far been struggling to convince Airbus that it should invest the time and money in developing the proposed A380neo derivative, which could offer a double-digit improvement in operating economics and be available from around 2020.
“Rolls-Royce are in the market [to power an A380neo]. They’re quite keen to do that,” says Clark. But he cautions that the A380neo “business case that is not stacking up very well in Toulouse. Hopefully we can persuade them in the next six months or so.”
Clark had previously pledged to take the last 25 of the 50 A380s ordered at the 2013 Dubai air show as the re-engined variant, so it is potentially interested in ordering at least 85 A380neos should Airbus decide to launch the new version.