Emirates signed the firm order as the World Government Summit opened in Dubai on Sunday.
the first aircraft are due for delivery from this batch in early 2020. The twenty will be built over 7 years, with the optional 16 stretching that to 2029.
Emirates hasn’t yet chosen an engine for the A380’s as Rolls Royce declined to supply their engine on the super-favourable terms they offered on the last batch. The 101 aircraft fleet is currently fitted mostly with EA GP7200’s but the latest are fitted with RR Trent-900’s.
Emirates now has a backorder of 61 A380’s but not all of these will operate simultaneously. Many earlier aircraft are on 12 year leases which start to expire from July 2020. All of the new order is expected to replace existing aircraft, not add to the total.
The 16 additional aircraft are expected to be firmed up in 2020, but it’s extremely unlikely that any more orders from Emirates will be forthcoming. By 2029 the aircraft technology will be 30 years old and will be expected to remain with the airline until around 2041.
The order ensures enough work to keep the line up for another 11 years, but only at the slowest pace of six aircraft per year. Unless someone else orders more, the only customer form 2020 will be Emirates until the line shuts down.