Emirates Orders 60 Airbus Planes

Airline will launch nonstop service between Dubai and New York on August 1.

The Gulf airline Emirates will purchase 60 more Airbus planes, comprising 30 A330-300s and 30 A350s, its chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said on July 28. He was in Hamburg, Germany to take delivery of Emirates' first A380 super jumbo jet.

The long-haul A330 and A350 aircraft have a catalogue price of about $200 million apiece, which would value the order at about $12 billion, though large customers normally obtain discounts.

Emirates is the biggest Middle Eastern airline and has withstood the rising price of jet fuel which has caused major concern for carriers around the world.

The largest customer of the Airbus A380 with 58 on order, Emirates said in June it would launch nonstop service between Dubai and New York on August 1, the first service to the U.S. with the world's biggest passenger jet.

Other destinations scheduled to be served with the A380 were London, Sydney and Auckland.

Emirates has had a long wait for delivery of the A380 superjumbo after repeated Airbus delays. The first plane was initially scheduled for delivery in October 2007.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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