18 June 2014

Emirates simply prefers the larger A380 to the A350. “This is not about demand”

Emirates has not said much about why it cancelled its order for 70 Airbus A350s, but a senior executive from the Dubai-based airline speaking to analysts and reporters last week in New York shortly after the cancellation was announced offered some insight.

Emirates EVP-service departments Nigel Hopkins emphasized that the airline had not changed its view about future passenger demand in the Middle East. The A350 cancellation “has nothing to do” with Emirates downgrading its demand forecast, he said. “This is not about demand,” he made a point of saying. “We’re absolutely optimistic about the future.”

Video capture. Source Airbus

But Hopkins did say Emirates increasingly sees the “flexible” A380 facilitating future growth because the aircraft’s large capacity allows it to operate to slot-constrained major airports –as Heathrow- and generate around the same revenue with 1 flight as 2 flights using a smaller A350.

“Emirates has just 5 slots at Heathrow, but we’ve grown revenue using the A380 on London flights and we couldn’t do that with other aircraft” Hopkins explained.

Unlike the rest of the airline industry, Emirates simply prefers the larger A380 to the A350.

Based on the article “Why did Emirates cancel A350s?” published in ATW

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