Airbus is close to setting a new record for A380s delivered in one year, and Emirates Airlines, its largest customer for the aircraft, has now also become the largest operator.
After struggling to meet its output targets in prior years because of production bottlenecks, the airframer handed over 12 A380s this year, equaling the full-year high achieved in 2008. The latest two deliveries were the fourth A380 to go to Air France (MSN49) and the 12th for Emirates (MSN46). Both were delivered from Airbus’s Hamburg site.
The Emirates delivery means the carrier now operates one more A380 than Singapore Airlines, the first operator of the aircraft type. Emirates has firm orders for 90 of the aircraft on the books.
Airbus is targeting at least 20 A380 deliveries this year, although it hopes to top that number slightly. Next year’s output is expected to increase to at least 30 of the aircraft.