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Emirates Airline receives first Airbus A380

The Dubai-based Emirates Airline Monday received its first Airbus A380 at the European aircraft manufacturer’s Jurgen Thomas A380 Delivery Center in Hamburg, Germany.

The delivery of the Airbus superjumbo expands the size of Emirates Airline’s fleet to 118, including 108 passenger aircraft and 10 freighters, said a statement of the airline. At the delivery ceremony, the A380 was received by Sheikh Ahmedbin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates Airline’ chairman and CEO. He said Emirates Airline was the first to place a firm order for the new generation aircraft eight years ago. By November 2007, Emirates had placed firm orders for 58 A380 planes.

This first superjumbo will be deployed on the Dubai-New York route, marking the first commercial A380 service to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and United States.

Emirates Airline is due to receive five superjumbos in the current financial year, which ends on 31 March, 2009, and receive the remaining 53 by June 2013. In addition, Sheikh Ahmed signed a letter of intent with Airbus’ president and CEO Tom Enders for 60 new Airbus aircraft, including 30 Airbus A350XWB and another 30 A330-300s. Owned by the Dubai government, Emirates Airline is the largest airline in the Arab world, with a network covering over 100 global destinations. (Xinhua)