April 8, 2021 / The largest operator of the Airbus A380, Emirates (EK) guarantees a lifeline as the 777X program is delayed and on hold. The 777X delay is problematic for all airlines worldwide, including EK, which may not receive the first wide-body jet before 2025. The delays of the 777x are due to issues found in the GE9X being tested in the low-pressure compressor.
While many airlines are retiring the A380, the UAE-registered giants will be in the skies at least for another 15 years. However, more retirements could be expected in the coming years. The airline’s current oldest jet, the A6-EDF, was seventh off the production line and is already over 15 years old. The Dubai-based carrier has 118 A380 in the fleet, with five more (including the last one off the production line in Toulouse) to be deliveried, taking the grand total to 123. All the latest aircraft sport the new Premium Economy cabin, which will be retrofitted to some of the other aircraft progressively.
Orders for the B777X stand at 115, but as reported by bloomberg.com last February, EK is seeking to switch between 30 and 40 of those to the smaller Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.