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Wed 23 Apr 2008 02:10 AM

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Emirates to quadruple planes by 2020

Airline plans 450-strong fleet with 243 planes worth $60bn currently on order - chairman.

Emirates airline said Tuesday it would continue to double in size every three or four years, with plans for a 450-strong fleet by 2020.

Chairman Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, also president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, said the airline would increase its current fleet from 115 to 200 by 2012, taking delivery of 22 planes this year, reported UAE daily Gulf News.

“Emirates has been doubling its size every three or four years since it started. I think we will continue with that kind of growth,” he said, adding the airline currently has 243 planes worth $60 billion on order, including 58 A380 superjumbos.

The airline is hedging to protect itself from price fluctuations and has budgeted for $100-plus oil prices, Sheikh Ahmed said.

"The fact that Emirates is government - owned does not mean that I'm getting my fuel cheaper than anyone else. We have to hedge like everyone else and we do not get subsidies. We are not a charity - we have to make money," he added.

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