Emirates Airline has decided to use the Dubai Airshow to organize its orders for new aircraft. After announcing interim agreements with Airbus and Boeing and failing to do so, the Middle East airline finally signed a contract with both manufacturers.
After ordering 50 A350-900, Emirates announced on Wednesday an agreement with Boeing to receive 30 787-9 jets from 2023. Like the deal with Airbus, the Dubai company also reviewed its original agreement with Boeing. Two years ago, the company was interested in the 787-10 version, the largest in the family, but decided to replace it with the mid-range version, capable of carrying 296 passengers in two classes.
The bad news for Boeing is that Emirates has converted part of its giant 777X order into the new aircraft. As a result, the order for the largest twin-engine in the world has been reduced from 150 to 126 units by the company – yet it will be the jet’s largest customer.
“I am pleased to announce a firm order for 30 Boeing Dreamliners. This is an important investment and addition to our future fleet and it represents Emirates’ continued efforts to provide the best quality air transportation services to our customers. We are also pleased to reaffirm our commitment to the Boeing 777X program and look forward to its entry into service,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates Chairman and Chief Executive.
“We are excited to finalize this important order from one of the world’s leading airlines. Our agreement solidifies Emirates’ plan to operate the 787 Dreamliner and the 777X, which make up the most efficient and most capable widebody combination in the industry,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Stan Deal.
The two new orders of 80 advanced widebodies show that even Emirates is seeking the versatility provided by these smaller jets than the A380 and 777 currently used by the airline. With them, the company will not only be able to open new routes that are not viable today due to demand, but also to break up flights and also offer more daily frequencies to certain destinations.
At the same time, the reaffirmation of the 777X order, even after several development issues, is a relief to Boeing as planemaker tries to solve its 737 MAX problems and questions about the quality of its products.