Emirates launches new routes and continues impressive growth
Emirates, the Dubai-based international airline equipped with one of the most modern fleets in the world, has received its entire order of Airbus A340-500s with the arrival of its 10th A340-500 aircraft.
Emirates has invested close to USD 2 billion (Gross Order Value) for the acquisition of its A340-500 fleet. The financing has been obtained from well diversified sources comprising of 29 per cent from European banks, 10 per cent from Islamic sources, 24 per cent from commercial banks within the GCC and 37 per cent from commercial banks outside the GCC – a substantial portion of which came from banks in Japan and China.
Emirates’ fleet – with an average aircraft age of only 56 months – reflects the airline’s business strategy of focusing on medium and long-haul routes. The airline has constantly upgraded its fleet to include aircraft with more capacity and longer range.
In 1999 the longer-range Airbus A330-200 was introduced in the Emirates fleet as a replacement for the Airbus A310-300. Likewise the airline soon added the Boeing 777-200 Extended Range (ER) aircraft – ideal for medium and long-haul routes – to supplement its Boeing 777-200 fleet.
Emirates also has firm orders for 30 Boeing B777-300 Extended Range, of which five are already in service, and the remaining will join the airline’s rapidly-expanding fleet by end 2007.
Emirates Group Chairman His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said: “The presence of longer range aircraft in our fleet reflects our business strategy which focuses on medium and long-haul routes. Taking advantage of the range that such aircraft offer Emirates has successfully redrawn the world’s air routes, opening up new non-stop services such as Dubai-Australia and Dubai-North America.”
Sheikh Ahmed added: “The quantum leap for Emirates came when it became the first airline in the world to operate the ultra-long range Airbus A340-500. The world’s longest-range, large passenger jet in service, the Airbus A340-500 powered by four Rolls-Royce Trent 500 engines is able to fly between any two places on the globe with no more than a single stop.”
On 1st December 2003, Emirates’ first Airbus A340-500 embarked on its maiden journey – Dubai to Sydney non-stop – with a flying time of less than 14 hours. The airline today operates its A340-500 aircraft on routes to Sydney-Christchurch, Melbourne-Auckland, Osaka and New York. The introduction of the 10th A340-500 aircraft will allow Emirates to operate its second daily service to New York starting 16th November.
Emirates’ fleet currently stands at 81 aircraft and comprises of 29 Airbus A330-200s, 12 Boeing 777-300s, nine Boeing 777-200s, ten Airbus 340-500s, eight A340-300s, five Boeing 777-300ERs, one Airbus A310, one Airbus A310F and six Boeing 747 freighters.
The airline’s impressive order book worth almost US$30 billion in list prices consists of orders for 92 aircraft including 45 Airbus A380-800s (including two A380Fs), 25 Boeing 777-300ERs plus nine options, two A310-300Fs and 20 Airbus A340-600 Higher Gross Weight aircraft.
Source: AME info