BERLIN (Reuters) - Emirates [EMIRA.UL] has had extensive discussions with Airbus about the production of a revamped version of the A380 super jumbo with more efficient engines, the airline’s president said on Thursday.
Emirates, which is the leading buyer of the existing A380 jet with 140 orders, has said it would look at placing an order for up to 200 A380neo jets to replace its current fleet and drive further expansion.
“If we’re lucky it will give us a 10-13 percent reduction in seat costs per mile,” Emirates President Tim Clark told reporters at an event during the ITB travel fair in Berlin.
“We understand they’re compiling the business case and an element of that will be the Emirates order,” Clark said.
He said he expected an A380neo would be powered by Rolls-Royce (RR.L) engines based on its Trent XWB engine.
Clark also said Emirates was considering Rolls-Royce engines for 50 of its Airbus A380 aircraft that are yet to be delivered. Its first 90 A380 aircraft are supplied with engines from Engine Alliance, a joint venture between General Electric (GE.N) and Pratt & Whitney (UTX.N).
Airbus has said it would only look at putting different engines on the A380 if it made business sense.
Emirates canceled an order for 70 Airbus A350 aircraft last year, saying the plane did not fit its original specifications. Clark said Emirates was now looking at both Airbus A350s and the 787 from rival Boeing (BA.N) for a twin-aisle order.
“We’d be looking at 50 to 70. We have to establish exactly what it would be but much would depend on the Dubai hub growth,” he said.
Reporting by Victoria Bryan; editing by David Clarke