Emirates Unhappy With A350 Engines

Daniel Fowkes
16 Nov 2023
· Aircraft 
· Airlines 
Airbus A350-1000 during testing

At the 2023 Dubai Airshow, Emirates said it remained unhappy with the Rolls Royce engines featured on the A350-1000.

Engine Concerns By Emirates

Emirates President Sir Tim Clark is known for honestly expressing his feelings on aircraft programs and companies.

On the sidelines of the 2023 Dubai Airshow, Clark said that the engine featured on the A350-1000, the Trent XWB-97, isn’t doing what the company wants.

As a result, the president said it wouldn’t place an order until improvements were visible or could be agreed upon for the popular higher-capacity variant of the A350 program.

Emirates already has a solid commitment for the A350-900, with deliveries expected to commence next year. However, with over 200 aircraft in service, the airline is reviewing its future fleet.

As a result, the potential inclusion of the A350-1000 as a natural advancement on its existing commitment appears to many as a natural progression.

What Emirates Wants Guarantees On Improvement

However, Emirates requests certain guarantees before committing to the A350-1000, primarily concerning the engine rather than the plane itself.

The company says it wants a guarantee of up to 2,500 cycles on the wing for the engine and at a maintenance cost per hour that is adequate for the company.

But, before any commitment will be made by the airline, it wants the engine manufacturer to ensure it can meet the airline’s requests. While concerns aren’t present for the engine powering the A350-900, the A350-1000 is currently described as unsuitable.

While improving the engine is part of a natural progression as the company develops further, it believes that Emirates’ stance is rather harsh.

Could An Order Still Come Soon?

Airinsight reports that Emirates and Airbus were after Day 3 of the 2023 Dubai Airshow discussing an A350-1000 order.

Ultimately highlighting that not everything said publicly is final, and executives can easily leverage their disapproval to get what they want.

UPDATE: Emirates, on Day 4 of the 2023 Dubai Airshow, announced a deal for 15 additional Airbus A350s, notably the A350-1000 was missing from this deal.

Talk Of Engine Improvements For A380 Too

Emirates isn’t a stranger to discussions around enhanced engine performance with its persistent talk about a new engine option for the A380.

The airline believes that improving the engines on the A380s body would significantly cut costs for the airline and improve operating the flagship.

Thanks to further development at engine manufacturers, implementing this technology on the A380s base could be a game changer for the airline’s operations.

However, Airbus has remained standoffish and following the A380 programme closure with production ceasing, it isn’t keen to launch this endeavour.

Part of the commitments for the A350-1000, A350-900, 787 and 777X are Emirates also understanding that it cannot keep the A380 flying forever. If no adequate double-decker replacement emerges, it’ll need to look elsewhere.

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