The strong demand for UK-manufactured aircraft by the Middle East has been bolstered with Dubai-based carrier Emirates Airline significantly increasing their fleet at the weekend's Dubai Airshow.
The airline carrier placed an order for 50 A380s flagships at the show, taking their total order to 140.
Fabrice Brégier, Airbus CEO and President said that “by strategically placing the A380 at the centre of its business, Emirates Airline is maximizing its leading position with each day of operations. Emirates has understood from the start that the A380 is unmatched in terms of efficiency, economics and passenger comfort and a true crowd-puller, as we see clearly underlined by the rapid development of its Dubai hub.”
With around 20 per cent of each Emirates A380 made in the UK, the aircraft programme has generated a significant amount of value to the UK economy and manufacuring sector and is expected to grow in the future.
Airbus recruited more than 500 new people in the UK in 2012, and guarantees that the deal with Emirates Airline will allow the company to recruit further 300 in 2013. This order is also expected to secure around 2,500 UK jobs directly and through the supply chain.
The wings for the aircraft are designed at the Airbus facility in Filton, Bristol, while they are assembled at the Airbus plant in Broughton, north Wales before being transported to Toulouse where the aircraft is finally assembled. A number of the aircraft systems are also tested at Filton, including landing gear and fuel.
Secretary Vince Cable suggested that “the British aerospace industry is a global leader, second only to the United States. This is one of the UK’s major success stories. That’s why we have invested over £2 billion with industry in a new Aerospace Technology Institute, developing new cutting edge technology that will help us build faster and greener aircrafts in the future.”
The total A380 fleet has accumulated over one million flight hours in almost 140,000 commercial flights. To date some 50 million passengers have already flew on board of an A380. Official sources from Airbus suggest than an A380 either takes off or lands every five minutes at one of the 34 airports where it operates.