Emirate cancels 70 Airbus A350 wide-bodied aircraft, the European airplane maker and British engine maker Rolls Royce have announced. The cancellation means a 9% reduction of the order book for its newest aircraft which has cost about $15 billion to develop and is only a few months away from entering service.
The cancellation does not affect Emirates’ order of 50 A380s placed at the Dubai Airshow, valued at $20 billion.
In a press release, Airbus stated:
“The decision follows on-going discussions with the airline in light of their fleet requirement review, as demonstrated by their order of 50 additional A380 at the last Dubai Airshow and their continuous interest in the program.”
“Airbus and Emirates Airline benefit from a long-standing relationship and the airline recently reiterated its confidence in Airbus products particularly by praising the A380 and the benefits the aircraft brings to their operations.”
Emirates Airline, based in Dubai, had placed an order for 50 x A350-900 and 20 x A350-1000 in 2007. They were due to be delivered from 2019 onward.
Rolls-Royce loses £2.6 billion order
Rolls Royce, which makes the engines for the aircraft, confirmed that it was advised by Airbus about the cancellation. While expressing disappointment and announcing its order book will be reduced by about £2.6 billion (3%), it expressed confidence at being able to fill the delivery slots vacated by the cancellation with orders from other airlines.
“Demand for the Airbus A350 remains strong, with more than 700 aircraft and 1,400 Trent XWB engines already sold. We retain a close working relationship with Emirates and continue to support their 38 Rolls-Royce powered wide body aircraft currently in service.”
“The order for 70 A350 aircraft was confirmed in 2007 as part of a larger $8.4bn announcement relating to a total of 120 Aircraft, all with TotalCare services. The options for the additional 50 aircraft, and the TotalCare contracts were not included in the amount captured in our Order Book.”
Healthy order book for A350
Airbus expressed full confidence in its A350 XWB program. With half a year to go before it goes into service, the A350 XWB order book has 742 firm orders.
“Interest in the game changing A350 has always been very high with customers. Airbus expects the A350 order book to continue growing in 2014.”
Despite the two companies’ positive outlook, Airbus shares declined nearly 4% in Paris in early trading, while Rolls-Royce shares dropped 2% in London.
The A350-800 (Source: Airbus)