Emirates on the A350 cancellation

15 Aug 2014 by Clement Huang

Emirates' unexpected decision to cancel its entire order of 70 Airbus A350s earlier this year (see here) was fairly shocking, however the airline has now provided a more thorough explanation as to the reasons behind this move.

In an article published by Arabic news outlet Al Khaleej, the Gulf carrier’s executive vice president and chief operations officer Adel Ahmad Al Redha revealed that Emirates has not completely closed the door to Airbus’ fuel-efficient aircraft model.

Indeed, the airline company is constantly reviewing its fleet requirements for future growth, and will be closely assessing the suitability of the A350 once the aircraft enters service.

However, Adel Ahmad Al Redha revealed that in the event that Emirates did choose to add a new aircraft model to its fleet, the airline currently favours Boeing’s B787 Dreamliner over the A350.

This is a particularly surprising announcement from the Gulf carrier, as president Tim Clark was previously reported by Bloomberg as stating that even the stretched version of the B787 could lack the capacity to satisfy the airline’s needs.

“We’ll certainly study the B787-10, but it could be a tad small for us,” said Clark at last year’s Paris Air Show.

However, he did admit that the decision to commit to the A350 took place prior to the reveal of the B787-10. Therefore, the airline appears to have shifted its perspective since.

“In the days when we placed the A350 order, the Dreamliner was too small,” Clark said. “The B787-10 wasn’t launched and the -8 and -9 were no good for us.”

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Clement Huang

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