Emirates has grounded more than 20 of its A380s and is in talks with Airbus to delay the delivery of the final eight super-jumbos it has on order because of the international travel crisis.
According to a report by Bloomberg, no decision has yet been taken and the airline will still take delivery of the aircraft, but is reluctant to receive planes which are currently impossible to fill.
Emirates has already swapped some of its A380s for smaller 777s on certain routes and is expected to ground more of its 230 planes, according to media reports.
Emirates is one of the few airlines in the world which has been able to operate the A380s profitability, consistently filling it on key routes. But now, Dubai’s main airline along with Korea Air, Lufthansa and Qantas, has begun grounding super-jumbos.
Airbus will soon stop producing the A380 as airlines turn towards jets which are more efficient and cheaper to run.
While Emirates’ president, Sir Tim Clark, said last year that there will still be a place for the aircraft in the airline’s fleet for many years to come, the company will restructure its fleet to include more 777s and new 787s.
Other airlines are also negotiating with manufacturers to defer orders in order to preserve cash at a time when carriers are expected to lose up to $113 billion in revenues. Qantas has already asked Airbus to extend an order deadline for up to 12 A350-1000s.
Emirates has taken a number of measures to reduce its costs in recent weeks, including asking staff to take leave and freezing recruitment.
It also been taking measures to reduce the spread of the virus, including introducing thermal screening measures for all passengers travelling on US flights departing from Dubai. Thermal scanners have been be placed at departure gates for all US destinations.
Emirates has also suspended its flights between Dubai and Italy.