Dubai: Dubai’s flagship carrier Emirates has doubled down on its investments to maintain and improve the operational efficiencies of its Airbus A380 fleet. The airline announced Wednesday that it has signed agreements worth over $1.5 billion on the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow to expand the network of providers to deliver aviation aftermarket and MRO services.
Emirates said it would leverage, at scale, partnerships with Honeywell, Collins Aerospace, Pratt and Whitney, Safran, Lufthansa Technik, OEM Services, Gameco, Haeco, and others to optimise its A380 fleet’s lifespan.
The work, already underway, is in line with the airline’s commitment to quality, said Emirates. Outside of the investments to improve the A380 fleet, the airline also has an ongoing $2 billion retrofit programme, which began last year. About 67 A380s were earmarked for a refresh across every cabin class, in addition to the installation of new Premium Economy Class cabins. So far, 16 aircraft have been upgraded and are now in full commercial service, said Emirates.
A380s to stay with Emirates
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group told media on Tuesday that the A380s would stay with the airline well into 2035. The world’s biggest operator of the Airbus A380 has been expanding its jumbo jet fleet by acquiring the aircraft from plane lessors as its lease expires.
The French OEM stopped manufacturing the double-deckers in 2021. Sheikh Ahmed, however, said the airline would continue to expand its fleet with more A380s from lessors for ‘the right price. “The A380 will stay with us until at least 2035. We will continue to buy it for the right price,” he said.
Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said the A380s would remain core to the airline’s network and customer proposition for the next decade, “Its size and capacity has allowed Emirates to unlock growth at some of the world’s busiest airports, opened new opportunities for travellers, and substantially raised standards for passenger comfort,” said Clark.
“Our continued commitment to and confidence in the A380 are why we’re investing heavily to keep the fleet in optimal shape and pristine condition. We want to ensure our fleet is in tip-top shape,” he said.
Emirates and Collins Aerospace signed an agreement to support the airline’s A380 Main Landing gear overhaul program. Safran Landing Systems will provide the airline services for its A380 Nose Landing gear. Meanwhile, Honeywell will provide wheels and carbon brakes for 116 A380 aircraft. Emirates has also extended its agreement with OEM services for ongoing component support, which includes the supply of spare parts, repair services and engineering support.
Pratt and Whitney and Emirates have signed a maintenance and support agreement for the airline’s PW980 Auxiliary Power Units. Emirates has been building a select network of MRO partners to support nose-to-tail line base maintenance services.
Lufthansa Technik will provide Base Maintenance Services (BMS) for the airline’s A380s and will provide additional C Checks for the aircraft across the next three years. The C Checks will be performed by Lufthansa Technik Philippines (LTP) in Manila.
The airline has also signed agreements with Gameco, based in Guangzhou, China, and Haeco in Xiamen, China for A380 C Checks starting in January and February 2024.