Emirates and Airbus seal deal for 36 planes

Mikail Houari and Sheikh Ahmed sign the agreementon the sidelines of the World Government Summit in Dubai

The deal was signed by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the Emirates chairman and CEO of Emirates, and Mikhail Houari, president of Airbus Middle East.

The order, for 20 of the double-decker planes with an option for 16 more, was originally announced on a provisional basis in mid-January.

Deliveries for the new order will begin in 2020 and Emirates has yet to decide on GE or Rolls-Royce engines. It has both Engine Alliance GP7200 and Rolls-Royce Trent 900 versions in its A380 fleet, which stood at 101 aircraft at the end of past year.

Emirates offers all-A380 daily services from both Auckland and Christchurch to Dubai and beyond.

"This agreement underscores our commitment towards the A380 programme, providing stability to the A380 production line and supporting tens of thousands of high-value jobs across the aviation supply chain".

Emirates, the largest operator of wide-body aircraft, signed a contract on Sunday firming up a preliminary $16 billion order for 20 A380 aircraft and options for 16 more.

"This is obviously excellent news for the French aerospace industry and for the European industry as a whole, as it allows Airbus to consider continuing production of the A380", the visiting premier told reporters on the sidelines of the World Government Summit.

Fabrice Brégier, Airbus president and chief operating officer, replied: "We thank Emirates, HH Sheikh Ahmed, [Emirates president] Tim Clark and Adel Al-Redha for their continued confidence in the A380, which has so successfully transformed air travel in the 21st century".

Toulouse-based Airbus was unable to lock in an agreement with Emirates to buy additional A380s at the Dubai Airshow last November. The carrier operates a mixed fleet of 269 wide-bodied aircraft that fly to 157 destinations globally. It was named World's Best Airline in TripAdvisor's 2017 Travellers' Choice Awards.

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