Filton jobs protected as Airbus lands deals worth a possible £30bn

November 18, 2013

Aerospace giant Airbus landed a clutch of deals potentially worth more than £30bn on the first day of the Dubai air show, including for its A380 superjumbo and new A350, which has yet to enter commercial service.

Dubai-based airline Emirates said it will buy 50 more Airbus A380 superjumbos in deal worth around £14.2bn. Airbus said the order will protect 2,500 jobs at its UK bases in Filton, where all the group’s wings are designed, and at Broughton in the North West where they are manufactured.

The airline is already the biggest customer of the A380 and the new deal will take its total orders for the plane to 140.

United Arab Emirates flag carrier Etihad placed firm orders for 87 aircraft, with options for a further 30 – which could add up to nearly £16.7bn. The deal includes 50 A350s.

And Doha-based Qatar Airways has also agreed a £600m deal for five A330 freighters, with an option to take a further eight, bringing the potential order total to £1.7bn.

Aviation industry watchers said the Emirates deal for more A380 planes was significant, as sales of the world’s largest commercial passenger aircraft were slow last year.

Business Secretary Vince Cable welcomed the A380 announcement, saying: “This major new order will also be welcome news for the many thousands more workers employed by companies who supply smaller parts to the aircraft from across the UK.

“The British aerospace industry is a global leader, second only to the United States. This is one of the UK’s major success stories.”

Airbus president Fabrice Bregier added: “Emirates has understood from the start that the A380 is unmatched in terms of efficiency, economics and passenger comfort and a true crowd-puller.

“We value our partnership with Emirates Airlines and are pleased to see this getting stronger each day with their A380s flying.”

GKN Aerospace makes parts for Airbus aircraft at its two Bristol plants, including for the A350's pioneering lightweight composite wings.

While the orders are a significant boost to Airbus's order book, the group's arch-rival Boeing of the US had an even better opening day at Dubai, inking an order with Emirates for 150 of its new 777 mini-jumbos, in a deal worth £47bn.

Pictured: The air show was opened by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum of Dubai

Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across Bristol for just £120 a month. Email for more information.