Hamburg - On April 11, Emirates announced that it would commit to purchasing options for 16 A380 from a previous order that gave a kiss of life to the barely demanded superjumbo of Airbus.

In February, the Gulf-based airline had placed a $16 billion order for 20 double-decked superjumbos with an option 16 more.

We will exercise them sooner rather than later,
Emirates President Tim Clark told reporters at the AIX 2018 in Hamburg.

The February order secured the future of A380 program for at least another decade. Emirates owns the largest A380 fleet far more than any other airline in the world.

Emirates had to reduce the frequency of some routes this summer due to the pilot shortage. The airline is short about 100 to 150 pilots. According to Clark, the shortage is a short-term situation. Emirates expects to add 170 pilots through its cadetship programme.

The Gulf-carrier also has some problems with the US government over market access issues. But there are substantive talks between governments on the Open Skies regulations, said Clark.