LONDON • Emirates president Tim Clark stepped up pressure on Airbus SE to commit to its slow-selling A380, suggesting that even a widely expected follow-up order from the Gulf carrier might not be enough to keep the programme alive into the next decade.
Clark, speaking at the Dubai Air Show where he ordered Boeing Co aircraft valued at US$15.1 billion (RM63.27 billion) on Sunday, said his airline is able to accommodate more A380s beyond the 142 on order. However, Clark said Emirates “needs to see something” from the Airbus board that reflects the company’s backing of the programme before it buys any more. And even if a fresh deal materialises, it’s for Airbus management to decide if that’s enough to keep the plane alive, he said.
“If we order any more, we want to make absolutely sure that the will is there contractually to continue the line for 10 to 15 years,” Clark said. Airbus “would like to put more aircraft into us and everyone else, but their board may have a view that says ‘If you don’t sell any more, Emirates or no Emirates, we don’t want you to do it’, so we need to see something from them which says ‘We will do this’.”
Airbus has already pushed back on new engines for the A380, one of Clark’s key demands, saying there is no business case at present as the order book starts drying up. Emirates has 42 A380s due for delivery, after taking its 100th double decker earlier this month. — Bloomberg