Sunday, November 18, 2007


Emirates's order for 50 Airbus A 350-900s + 20 Airbus A 350-1000Xs + 12 Boeing 777-300ERs + 3 more Airbus A 380s (ordered 58 in total) + took 50 options on the A 350 family line.

Analysis :

Once again, EK stole the show by placing the largest ever order in commercial aviation history worth over US$ 31 billion. Some might say that the recent order placed at the DXB air show is insane but if one looks at it in hindsight that is not the case.

The 70 A 350s that EK ordered will be used to replace 61 aircraft currently in its fleet i.e. 29 A 332s + 8 A 343s + 3 B 772As + 9 B 772ERs + 12 B 773As. Therefore to cater for further expansion, EK has basically placed only an extra 24 wide bodied aircraft on order.

The A 359s will be a direct replacement for the A 332 + A 343 + B 772A + B 772ER fleet whilst the A 351 replaces the B 773A fleet. Looking at it from a strategic point of view, this is an excellent move by EK as a vast majority of their short/medium haul flights will revolve around one airplane type i.e. the A 350 and not 3 different types as is the case today (A 332 / A 343 / B 777). This will result in huge cost savings not only in terms of crew training, crew rostering but more so in the areas of engineering and maintainence.

Many people including myself were also expecting an order for 10 Boeing 747-800s (+10 options) but that didn't materialize as apparently Boeing refused to give in to EK's demands of shortening the length of the plane which would increase its nonstop flying capability which would allow it to fly without any payload penalty DXB-LAX/SFO nonstop. As a result, the B 773ERs won the order for 12 aircraft.
As far as the A 380's go, EK firmed up 8 options it announced at the Paris 2007 air show held in July + ordered 3 extra at the DXB air show. This new order brings the total number of A 380s ordered by EK to a whooping 58! I have a suggestion which EK could look into with regards to 2 routes that the A 380 can be useful for. Those 2 routes are DXB-CDG-LAX and DXB-CDG-SFO.

Why you may ask? Simple, Air France currently enjoys a lucrative monopoly position on both routes as no other airline flies from CDG nonstop to the U.S. West Coast hence both LAX & SFO have proven to be high yielding routes for AF for the last 4 years in all cabins. By EK ordering dozens of Airbus aircraft over the last decade or so which in turn created thousands of extra jobs in France + helped the French economy through these orders, it can effectively lobby the French Government to allow it to fly with 5th freedom traffic from CDG to USA and give AF a run for their money on SFO & LAX routes. Since EK's business philosophy calls for double daily flights to all their long haul destinations, have one nonstop flight flown from DXB to the U.S. West Coast with the Boeing 777-200LR and have the other one flown with the A 380 via CDG. In both these U.S. markets, EK has good brand recognition amongst the low yielding and high yielding passengers thus by offering an attractive in-flight product on board its A 380s, it stands to do well in this market segment with the A 380.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting analysis. Thanks.