EADS, Emirates sign deal for 50 more A380s

Emirates Airline, the largest operator of Airbus A380 aircraft in the world, is adding 50 more A380 wide bodied double decker aircraft to its fleet, as it plans a major expansion.

European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company EADS NV, the maker of Airbus aircraft, today said it has finalised a deal with Emirates Airline for 50 more A380s aircraft that had been announced at the Dubai airshow last month.

Emirates president Tim Clark signed the deal during a visit to the aircraft maker's French headquarters in Toulouse, Airbus said in a statement.

The deal is worth $23 billion at list prices and brings total orders from Emirates alone for the world's largest jetliner to 140 aircraft.

Emirates on Thursday said it took delivery of the 43rd and 44th A380 aircraft to its fleet, taking the airline's total fleet strength to 212.

The fast-growing airline has received 12 of the giant double decker aircraft over the last year.

Following a record order at the Dubai Airshow in November, the airline already had 97 of the A380 aircraft on order (See: Airbus in $9.5-bn aircraft deal with Japan Airlines). With the additional order for 50, Emirates would finally have 140 of the A380s.

The Dubai-based airline has expanded its A380 services in Europe, Australia, Mauritius and the US this year. The aircraft will also be used to boost services to Zürich and Barcelona next year.

Emirates has the only purpose-built facility for the A380 aircraft in the world, allowing passengers to enjoy world-class shopping and dining experience alongside direct boarding from Emirates' exclusive First Class and Business Class lounges.

The Emirates A380 aircraft can carry between 489 to 517 passengers depending on the configuration.

More than 18 million passengers have travelled on the Emirates A380 since it was first launched in 2008.

Two decks offer spacious seats in Economy Class, lie-flat seats in Business Class and luxury First Class Private Suites.

Passengers across all cabins can enjoy up to 1,600 channels of the latest movies, TV shows and music from around the world alongside a range of games. It allows passengers to stay connected throughout the flight with high-speed Wi-Fi access and mobile phone and data services.

The order comes as a boon to EADS which is planning to restructure operations across the group's four ''home countries'' , involving a reduction of 5,800 positions at future ''Airbus Defence and Space'' division and corporate functions

EADS board of directors had, in July this year, decided to consolidate the defence and space businesses of the group into one new division and to rebrand EADS into `Airbus Group'.