On the fourth day of the 2023 Dubai Airshow, Emirates Airline has ordered an additional 15 Airbus A350-900 airliners. This takes the Dubai based airline’s order to 65 of the type, the first of which is due to arrive in mid-2024.
There has been a lot of talk over the course of the Dubai Airshow regarding Emirates’ position on the larger variant of the A350: the -1000. Emirates President, Sir Tim Clark explained to reporters at the Dubai show that the airline is very interested in the A350-1000 and that it would be a great fit for the airline, however he has large reservations regarding the power-plant of the aircraft – the Rolls-Royce XWB-97, which is the sole engine option for the A350-1000. The A350-900 is powered by the Rolls-Royce XWB-84, which apparently doesn’t warrant the same concerns.
Sir Tim Clark said “The engine is not doing what we want it to do,” and then continues to explain that the engine is seeing around a quarter of the ‘time on the wing’ between maintenance schedules than what the airline deems to be financially viable in hot and sandy environments, precisely the conditions Emirates operates in. He went on to explain that if Rolls-Royce were to resolve these issues and also offer an increase in thrust for the XWB-97, then the airline would reconsider placing an order for the A350-1000.
Emirates originally placed an order for 50 A350-900 and 20 A350-1000 in 2007, before cancelling the entire order in 2014. The airline later went on to re-order 30 A350-900 in February of 2019, which was then raised to 50 in November of the same year.
Matt is a Berlin-based writer and reporter for International Flight Network. Originally from London, he has been involved in aviation from a very young age and has a particular focus on aircraft safety, accidents and technical details.