United Arab Emirates' Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum takes a tour inside an Airbus A380

Cameron hails Airbus plane deals

Deals to sell Airbus jets to Middle East airlines have been hailed as marking a "great day for the British aerospace industry".

On the first day of the Dubai airshow, the manufacturer announced that the Dubai airline Emirates has placed an order for 50 Airbus A380 superjumbos in a deal reportedly worth £14.2bn.

The Prime Minister,  who discussed the deals with the Ruler of Dubai and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi in Dubai yesterday on his way back from the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka,  said the Emirates order for the A380s was a fresh vote of confidence in the skills of the workforce at Filton, where the wings are designed, and Broughton where they are assembled.

The United Arab Emirates flag carrier Etihad has also put in firm orders for 87 aircraft – including 50 A350s – with options on another 30 in a package said to be worth up to £16.7bn.

"This is a great day for the British aerospace industry. Civil aerospace is one of Britain's strongest industries," he said. "These major deals are testament to the world-beating capabilities of our civil aerospace industry and proof of how Britain can succeed in the global race.

"Together these contracts demonstrate the confidence of world class airlines like Emirates and Etihad in the latest technology designed and manufactured in Britain and they will be a major boost for SMEs up and down the country involved in the supply chain."

He said that it would sustain 2,500 jobs across the UK while opening up an opportunity for Rolls Royce to bid to supply the engines in a further multi-billion pound deal that would benefit Derby.

Meanwhile the Etihad deal for the A350s with Rolls Royce engines will be worth a further £3bn to the UK economy, securing 4,000 jobs over the next three years.

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