June 21, 2017 / 7:52 AM / 10 months ago

Emirates interested in retrofit for A380 changes proposed by Airbus on new planes

PARIS (Reuters) - Emirates, the world’s largest A380 customer, would be interested in changes being made to its current fleet of the superjumbo that manufacturer Airbus said this week would only be for new aircraft.

A new fuel-efficient wingtip extension or winglet is seen on an Airbus A380 during the opening of the 52nd Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport, near Paris, France, June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Airbus unveiled an upgraded version of the world’s biggest passenger jet on Sunday, seeking to boost demand for the slow-selling superjumbo and including a new wingtip design aimed at reducing fuel burn by up to 4 percent.

Airbus Chief Operating Officer Fabrice Bregier said on Monday the wingtips would only be put into production if Airbus received “a large order.”

“If they said we’ll give you these winglets on a retrofit basis, to save up to 2.5 percent fuel, I would look at that,” Emirates President Tim Clark told reporters at the Paris Airshow on Wednesday.

Emirates is by far the largest A380 customer, having ordered 142 of the jets with 95 in its fleet today.

Clark said he would be interested in ordering more A380s “but I don’t want to be left with a pup, with a plane that is going into obsolescence.”

Writing by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Mark Potter

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