EMIRATES Airline expects Airbus to take a ‘massive write-off’ after the two sides negotiate late charges for delayed deliveries of the Airbus A380 superjumbo.
“I am sure we will come to a compromise, which Airbus will take as a massive write-off,” Emirates president Tim Clark said in a recent issue of magazine Flight International. “We now have a figure, and in the next few weeks we will begin talking.”
An Airbus spokesman declined to comment.
Emirates has ordered 43 of the $300 million planes, making it by far the largest buyer of the plane, whose delay has triggered demands for late fees to be paid to carriers, which must make alternative plans until the aircraft arrive.
Trouble with the wiring of the mammoth double-deckers has delayed deliveries by about two years, and Singapore Airlines is now expected to take the first one late this year.
Emirates was originally meant to begin taking the planes in April 2006 but now will not see its first until August 2008.
Clark said Emirates expected to grow by 14 per cent in the year to April 2008, versus an estimated 30 per cent if the A380s had been delivered on schedule.
In October, Clark said the difference equated to a revenue shortfall of ‘hundreds of millions of dollars’. He also said then that the A380 was running 5.5 tonnes overweight, which would be another topic of discussion regarding performance guarantees, which are part of the order.
Emirates is not only a huge customer for the A380 but the airline is also looking to buy as many as 100 mid-sized, long-range planes.
Airbus is offering its A350 XWB due in 2013 versus Boeing 's due in 2008 for a deal that could be worth $15 billion at list prices.
Meanwhile, Emirates has tied up with lastminute.com, the UK's largest hotel intermediary, which will provide customers access to over 100,000 three- to five-star hotels in 59 countries via the airline’s website.
Hotel options will be promoted on emirates.com under the heading ‘Book a hotel’ and will service customers’ global hotel needs across 59 international markets, where Emirates operates.
The agreement will be live on emirates.com for an initial 18 months.
The new service will give customers access to over 100,000 city and resort-based hotels worldwide with access to lastminute.com's full range of luxury, holiday and hip hotels. It will initially be available in English with customers able to pay for their accommodation in pounds Sterling, US dollars and euros.
From the beginning of January, children travelling Emirates’ long haul flights will find a brand new bumper bag of goodies to make flying fun. The new toys come in one of two must-have bags: a colourful rucksack and a cool bag.
The highlight of the bag is the Querk, a new soft toy exclusive to Emirates. An animal that loves to travel, it comes in a soft fabric bag with one of five costumes: Salaam the Lion, Yorkie the Eagle, Sydney the Koala, Paris the Rabbit or Delhi the Elephant. The Querk, from German manufacturer Simba Toys, will be exclusively available on Emirates flights for the next two years.
Dr Seuss’ classic stories will also feature onboard in paperback, as will a fun and colourful magazine, e-kids, produced exclusively for Emirates. A special children’s menu will make mealtimes a treat.
For entertainment via the personal seatback television screens, children on Emirates still have their own CTV & Skysurfers channel, and an interactive channel offering 50 games.
The airline plans to launch a new non-stop daily service between Dubai and Newcastle in the UK from September 1, bringing the number of UK destinations it serves to six.
The airline also said it would boost the number of flights to Kuwait, Beirut and Damascus to tap growing passenger demand for business and leisure travel in the Middle East. The carrier will add two flights a week to Kuwait taking the total to 25 starting March 25, and two to Damascus making the total nine per week starting May 1, it said in a statement.