Business World

Sunday 25 March 2018

Airbus loses Emirates' order for 70 jets

Emirates Airline Airbus A380-800 aircraft
Emirates Airline Airbus A380-800 aircraft

Cyril Altmeyer and Tim Hepher

Airbus lost a major order yesterday when Dubai's Emirates airline cancelled its entire requirement for 70 A350 jets, dealing an unexpected blow to the European planemaker and engine maker Rolls-Royce.

Shares in Airbus fell more than 3pc on the loss of some 9pc of the order book for its newest passenger jet, which is now only months away from entering service after eight years in development at a cost of some $15bn (€11.08m).

Airbus acknowledged it was disappointed with the loss of the joint second-largest customer for the new twin-engined wide-body aircraft, but said it was confident of filling the spare production slots.

"It is not good news commercially but not bad news financially," Airbus sales chief John Leahy told reporters in Toulouse.

"There is certainly going to be no hole in production," Mr Leahy said. Emirates was due to receive its first A350 in 2019.

Rolls-Royce, the sole engine maker for the A350, said the Emirates decision would result in a £2.6bn hit to its order book.

"While disappointed with this decision, we are confident that the delivery slots which start towards the end of this decade vacated by Emirates will be taken up by other airlines," Rolls-Royce said in a statement.

Airbus and Boeing have dismissed warnings of a 'bubble' in commercial aircraft orders, which remained robust throughout the financial crisis.

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