With pre-show attention focused on the launch of the 777X, an order for 50 additional A380 aircraft by Emirates seemed to fly under the radar, but is very significant to Airbus and the program. This order for A380 will bring Emirates total to 140, reinforcing its position as the largest operator of the type. Emirates A380s are powered by Engine Alliance GP7200 engines, a joint venture of Pratt & Whitney and GE Aircraft Engines.
This is a significant order for Airbus, its first this year, and should ensure that production of the A380 remains at its current rate. Earlier this year rumors of a potential production cut in the A380 line were circulating unless Airbus could secure additional orders. This bring total orders for the A380 to 309, still far beneath Airbus projections for the very large aircraft segment. Emirates, with 45% of the commitments for the program, has reinforced its position as the key operator of the A380, and is clearly quite happy with the aircraft.