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Airbus clinches £11.5bn deal to sell to Emirates

Credit: PA

Airbus has clinched a deal to sell up to 36 superjumbo planes to Emirates Airline.

The deal - which is worth £11.5bn - comes just days after it threatened to stop making the A380 plane if it failed to strike an agreement with Emirates for a steady supply of the aircraft.

The company confirmed that Emirates has committed to buying 20 A380s with an option of purchasing 16 more, with deliveries set to start in 2020.

The agreement secures work for Airbus staff at its site in Broughton.

Economy Secretary Ken Skates says it is 'excellent news' for workers.

It is a massive vote of confidence in the skills and continued hard work of Airbus workers and will secure jobs at the plane maker's Broughton site in North Wales where they make the wings for the A380.

Airbus workers will be delighted by this announcement and hopeful that more orders will follow to secure the production of this superb aircraft for many years to come.

– Steve Turner, Assistant General Secretary, Unite

Airbus said earlier this week Emirates was the only airline with the ability to commit to a minimum of six plans a year for a minimum of eight to 10 years, which Airbus needed to make the programme viable.

The A380 has struggled to win customers since its launch a decade ago, delivering just 15 of the planes last year, and aims to deliver 12 more in 2018.

The superjumbo plane has a listed price of $445.6 million.

John Leahy, chief operating officer for customers at Airbus Commercial Aircraft, said the deal secures production for another decade.

"This aircraft has contributed enormously to Emirates' growth and success since 2008 and we are delighted that it will continue to do so," he said.

"This new order underscores Airbus' commitment to produce the A380 at least for another ten years.

"I'm personally convinced more orders will follow Emirates' example and that this great aircraft will be built well into the 2030s."