June 9, 2015, c. Leeham Co. Competition between Airbus and Boeing remains wide open between the A350-900 and the 787-10, says the president of Emirates Airline despite an Internet report that the carrier has tilted toward Boeing.
“No, I don’t know where that’s coming from,” Clark today told Leeham News and Comment on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Assn. Annual General Meeting in Miami Beach. “If anything, the 10 is not coming up with the thrust requirements that we need. We’re working with Boeing on that, whereas the A350-900 has got bags of thrust.
“We’re kind of looking at the A350-1000 as well, but we’ve got the [Boeing] 777-9 and the 777-8 coming in, so they are going to take care of a lot of what the -1000 would have done. Really, we’re looking at the -900 and the 787-10.”
There is no nexus between the A350 and the A380neo, Clark said. “No, none whatsoever.”
When LNC last interview Clark in September at a conference there, Clark said that when Emirates had flown the A380 the standard 12-15 years of the EK business plan, Clark said EK would park and scrap the airplanes.
‘Of course I got into big trouble with all the lessors,” Clark told LNC today. “What we’re trying to do is get the A380 revitalized,” Clark said, referring to airframe enhancements and the prospect of the neo. “The airplane today is great for us. It makes us a lot of money because we fill it all the time. It remains a constant, so we will just keep on operating these aircraft until [Airbus] make up their minds about what they are going to do. For the lessors who find that their time is coming to an end, we will probably continue to use the same airplanes, just renew the leases for a period of time until [Airbus] make up their minds. It’s all speculative at the moment. There is no point trying to second guess what Airbus may or may not do.”
Emirates selected the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 for the most recent order for 50 A380s, switching from the Engine Alliance GP7200. At the time, Clark was quoted saying EA had “flat-lined.” Today he defined what he meant.
“I think [Engine Alliance] have decided that there wasn’t a business case to add technology to the engine and improve it. They thought that to do that it was going to cost quite a few billion dollars and there wouldn’t be enough sales to support it in their view, so they decided not to do” a second or third generation GP7200.
Rolls-Royce was willing to add technology to the T900, Clark said. Engine Alliance was comfortable losing the order under the circumstances, he said.