Rolls-Royce, in a major upset, won the Emirates Airlines order to power 50 Airbus A380s ordered in November 2013. The win displaces Engine Alliance, which to now has been the sole-source provider for EK’s A380s.
Two sources confirmed the RR win. RR and Airbus did not comment on the win. EK and RR have not made any announcement. EA also did not comment.
According to one source, EK determined the RR Trent 900 was determined to be up to 4% more efficient than EA. But it’s unclear if there were other factors involved.In June 2014, EK canceled its order for 70 RR-powered Airbus A350s. Whether the A380 engine selection was influenced by the cancellation of the earlier RR deal is unknown; this may have been a simple economic and commercial deal for the A380. RR will have another shot at winning major EK business during the new evaluation of the competition between the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787. RR is the sole source supplier on the A350 and shares the platform with GE on the 787. This wide-body competition could be resolved this year.