03 October 2014

Emirates will revisit A350 cancellation decision next year, only after obtaining real fuel consumption data.

Emirates aims to launch a competition between the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 during 2015 once it has obtained detailed performance and in-service data for the two twinjets.

The airline will re-evaluate the A350-900 and -1000 alongside the 787-9 and -10 following its decision in June to terminate its original contract placed in 2007 for 70 A350 XWB aircraft.

Source: © Airbus

Emirates Airline president Tim Clark says the decision to cancel the original A350 order was driven by Airbus’s move 3 years ago to revamp the A350-1000 around a more powerful engine. “It’s a different aeroplane to the one ordered,” says Clark.

We needed a fresh contract. This was a beast that needed to have its contractual terms aligned with what it was and will be,” Clark said during World Routes in Chicago. “They didn’t match, and Airbus knew they didn’t match as it would have been kicking up merry hell about us walking away from the contract.”

Source: © Airbus

Clark said he told Airbus that he would be “happy to sit down again” to revise the contract. However the expansion of the 787 family to include a second stretched variant, the -10, means that Boeing’s Dreamliner has entered the equation.

“The 787-10 didn’t exist when we signed for the A350. Now it does,” says Clark. “So we will launch a campaign that will look at both the 787-9/10 and the A350-900/1000. And we’ll see who comes up with the best deal, not just at the front-end price but also the operating economics. And then we’ll decide how many and when.”

Source: © Airbus

Clark said that the shorter-range 787-10 has a lower empty weight than the A350-900, which could be an advantage in the evaluation: “The A350-900 is full of fuel tanks because it can fly from the Gulf to New York nonstop, but the 787-10 isn’t designed to do that. It’s designed to take the same number of passengers over much shorter missions, which for us is fine,” he says. “And it’s possibly cheaper because it’s not so heavy.”

But Clark is not prepared to start evaluating either type until he has seen the A350-900 and 787-9 “operated in anger”. He says he wants “real hard operating numbers in terms of fuel burn etc” and to ensure that the in-service technical performance is satisfactory.

Source: © Airbus

“That will come during the course of the next 6 months or so we’ll probably re-open talks some time next year,” he said.

Based on the article “Emirates to re-evaluate A350 alongside 787 next year” published in FlightGlobal


  1. I applaud Airbus for not conceding to Emirates on this one. Emirates clearly wanted the 777-x for their long haul routes and the A350 for their medium haul routes right from the start. Airbus was smart to design the A350 for what it needed to be for the majority of Airlines which are not obsessed with size and scale. Airbus should not regoniate with Emirates and sell those planes to those airlines who need the A350 and value it for what it is.

  2. Other airlines ask for the now free A350 slots, to by-pass Dubai between Europe and Asia. 777x's for EK will arrive, starting 6 years from now, earliest.

    Fleet planners inside EK told the princes and spoiled CEO cancelling the A350 order was, well.. not the mother of all fleet strategies.

    EK found out their buying power on the A350 ain't the same as the position they have on A380 and 777x. On the quality and potential of the A350, well everybody seems to agree there..

    EK back to the A350 negotiatng table, without loosing face of course.

    1. I think EK is using 787 as a bargaining chip...they r goin to buy a350...keesje do u have solid numbers to compair seat mile cost of a359 n 789?