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Emirates Airline, which saw a steep drop in profit its latest financials, is deferring delivery of six Airbus A380s from 2017 to 2018 and postponing delivery of another six A380s from 2018 to 2019.
Airbus announced the delivery deferrals in a press release Dec. 27, saying that agreements had been reached between Emirates and Rolls-Royce and between Emirates and Airbus.
In November, Dubai-based Emirates posted its financials for the first half of its 2016-27 financial year and showed a net profit that was 75% down from the year ago period to AED786 million ($214 million). Revenue for the period was down 1% to AED41.9 billion.
The airline said the figures reflected increased market competition that resulted in lower fares, together with unfavorable currency movements because of the strength of the dollar. Additional adverse factors included weaker demand as a result of a subdued economic landscape and security fears that had dissuaded some people from traveling.
Airbus, in its statement on the aircraft deferrals, also re-confirmed its target to deliver around 12 A380s per year from 2018 and said cost reduction initiatives “will be accelerated” so the impact on A380 break-even in 2017 “will be minimal”.
The Toulouse-based aircraft manufacturer stated in July that it would cut A380 production to 12 aircraft from 2018, more than halving the production rate of the double-deck very large aircraft from 2.5 per month to one.
Emirates is beginning to take delivery of the first of its Rolls Trent 900-powered A380s, but said earlier in December that it had encountered a last-minute “technical glitch” with the engine.
The initial 90 A380s ordered by Emirates – most of which have been delivered – are powered by Engine Alliance GP7000s, an engine produced under a GE Aviation/Pratt & Whitney joint venture. Rolls, however, secured the contract to power Emirates follow-on batch of 50 A380s.