Key Points:

  • Emirates President Tim Clark requires evidence of the Trent XWB-97 engine’s durability on the Airbus A350-1000 before considering a future purchase.

  • Clark's skepticism follows his criticism of the engine’s maintenance cycles at the Dubai Airshow, leading to a smaller order for the A350-900 variant.

  • Despite Clark’s critique, the A350-1000 remains popular among airlines, with Airbus and Rolls-Royce affirming the model’s efficiency and long-term reliability.

Skepticism Over A350-1000's Engine Performance

At a recent event in London, Emirates President Tim Clark expressed reservations about the Airbus SE A350-1000, particularly the durability of its Trent XWB-97 engine, provided by Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc. Clark emphasized the need to verify the engine’s performance in other airlines’ fleets before considering it for Emirates, potentially at the end of the decade.

Criticism and Reduced Order at Dubai Airshow

Clark’s scrutiny of the A350-1000’s engine followed his comments at the Dubai Airshow, where he labeled the engine “defective” due to short maintenance cycles. This critique led to Emirates scaling back its order, opting for only 15 units of the smaller A350-900 variant, a stark contrast to the initial consideration of up to 50 A350-1000s.

Record Popularity and Defense of A350-1000

Despite Clark's criticisms, the A350-1000 variant has witnessed significant popularity among airlines this year, attributed to its low fuel consumption and long-range capabilities. Airbus and Rolls-Royce have defended the aircraft, asserting its operational efficiency and improving reliability over time. This scenario reflects a pattern where Clark has previously expressed reservations about aircraft models before eventually making substantial purchases, indicating a potential shift in Emirates' stance towards the A350-1000 in the future.