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Emirates cancels order for Airbus A340

Dubai's Emirates Airline said it is canceling an order for 10 large jetliners from Airbus and will use Boeing models instead, according to a published report Sunday. Emirates President Tim Clark said his airline would not take the Airbus A340-600 jetliners it had ordered and is sending auditors to assess the European plane maker's progress on building its A380 superjumbo. Emirates will instead order 777 models from Boeing Co., Emirates Executive Vice Chairman Maurice Flanagan said, the Journal reported. The switch that follows Clark's complaints last year about the high operating cost of the A340 family of planes, shows how Boeing is benefiting from troubles at Airbus, a unit of Franco-German European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. Airbus spokeswoman Barbara Kracht said she had no information about cancellations.

Passenger version

Clark also said Emirates is interested in acquiring proposed passenger versions of Boeing's planned 747-8 jetliner, an update of the four-engine model introduced in 1969. Emirates would only do so if Boeing stretches the design a bit to increase seating capacity, Clark said, according to the newspaper. In July, the carrier ordered 10 of the cargo version of the 747-8. The 747 is Boeing's largest aircraft and competes to some extent with the A380, Airbus's jumbo jet in production. Clark also said Emirates will send engineers to check on A380 production plants in France and Germany.

The engineers will examine how Airbus managers are resolving industrial problems that have pushed production of the world's largest passenger plane two years behind schedule and more than one-third over its original $12 billion budget. Emirates is the leading customer for the two-deck jetliner, accounting for 43 of the 159 superjumbos Airbus has on firm order.

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