DUBAI – Emirates Airline Wednesday said some of its double-decker Airbus A380 planes for delivery in 2010 will be delayed and that it may take over aircraft orders from rival carriers.
“We’ve taken a bit of a delay on deliveries but not in years,” Emirates Airline Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum told reporters at a press conference ahead of the Dubai Airshow that starts Sunday.
With a total of 58 orders, Emirates, the largest airline in the Middle East, is Airbus’s biggest customer for the A380. The Dubai-based carrier is due to receive six of the superjumbos next year, slowing to five in 2011. Deliveries are expected to rise to 12 in 2012 and 11 in 2013.
Sheikh Ahmed said the carrier will take delivery of two A380s in December and January, but didn’t detail how many aircraft will be affected and by how long.
“It’s a short period. Some aircraft will be delivered within a month or two of the original date,” he said. “We are not happy about it because we want the aircraft to be delivered on time.”
However, Sheikh Ahmed declined to comment on whether the airline is seeking compensation for the delays, saying: “It’s a private matter.”
Emirates is also looking at taking over orders made by other airlines that want to delay delivery of new aircraft amid the global downturn.
“We’re considering it,” Sheikh Ahmed said. “We’re usually one of the first movers to take advantage of the market. It’s very positive for us.”
Last week, Emirates said its first-half net profit almost tripled from a year earlier to 752 million U.A.E. dirhams ($205 million) on lower costs and fuel prices.
Sheikh Ahmed Wednesday said he expected the airline’s revenue during the second half to be “better” than the 13.5% fall posted during the first half. “Emirates is seeing much better numbers in terms of forward bookings,” he said.