Emirates President Tim Clark faulted Airbus for lacking a coherent strategy on its biggest airplanes, saying Airbus should focus on an upgrade of its A380 rather than spend resources on yet another variant of its A350 model.
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Emirates scrapped a deal for 70 A350s (50 A350-900s and 20 A350-1000 in Jun/2014) and is currently weighing the A350-900 against Boeing’s 787-9 and 787-10.
Emirates is also the world’s leading wide-body operator, with 140 A380 orders and currently 75 planes in the fleet.
Source: Singapore Airlines
Airbus’s thinking has become increasingly hard to read and talk of further extending the stretched A350-1000 makes little sense, Clark said adding that he’s not sure the manufacturer could afford to fund that project alongside the upgraded A380 he’s keen to buy.
“There seems to be a certain amount of cloudiness,” Clark said. “They’ve got the A380neo and then bingo, out pops the new A350-1000. I’m not quite sure how that’s going to pan out.”
Airbus’s increasing focus on a double-stretch A350 is of less interest to Emirates because the plane would compete with the largest version of Boeing’s revamped 777X - an aircraft it’s already taking.
Clark said a bigger A350 would add weight and create issues at airports because of the extra length.
Leahy said last week that Airbus isn’t interested in swaying Gulf carriers that are buying the 777X, adding that he’d prefer to “optimize an airplane” for customers such as United Airlines and British Airways that don’t require the performance to operate from very hot desert environments.
Based on the article “Emirates Blasts Airbus for Confused Strategy on Wide-Body Jets” published in Bloomberg