Stewardesses pose in front of an Emirates airlines A380 aircraft at the International Aerospace Exhibition in Berlin. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Emirates airline yesterday broke the aviation record for the largest order by value when it signed a $11.5 billion deal with Airbus for 32 additional A380s at the Berlin Air Show.

The year's first and only A380 order has brought the total to 234 for the European manufacturer, taking Emirates' share to 90 superjumbos — making it by far the biggest buyer of the double-decker aircraft.

"This latest order, adding to 58 A380s previously ordered, affirms Emirates' strategy to become a world leading carrier and to further establish Dubai as a central gateway to worldwide air travel," Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline and group, said.

In addition to the order placed yesterday, Emirates has 48 A380s, 70 A350s, 18 Boeing 777-300s and seven Boeing air freighters on order totalling 143 wide-body aircraft worth more than $48 billion.

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Dubai's flagship carrier will receive its 10th A380 next month and said it expects all 90 superjumbos to be delivered by 2017.

After posting a Dh3.5 billion profit last year, Emirates President Tim Clark said the airline's profits would surpass its 2009 earnings. "We will exceed it. We are well ahead [of our forecasts] already," Clark said according to Reuters.

In a market that Airbus forecasts will need 1,150 new passenger aircraft in the next 20 years, the order comes at a time when Germany has placed a 1 billion euro annual burden on the aviation industry with a new departure tax in Germany.

Emirates serves eight international destinations with the superjumbo. The airline will start A380 services to Beijing on August 1, Manchester on September 1 and a return service to New York's JFK airport on October 1.