Dubai Airshow: Emirates orders additional Boeing 777X and 787 wide-body jets worth $52bn

Delivery of the first 777X aircraft expected in 2025, airline says

An Emirates Boeing 777-300ER at the Dubai Airshow at DWC. The airline has ordered 90 more 777X jets. Bloomberg
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Emirates, the world's biggest long-haul airline, has placed an order for 95 additional Boeing 777X jets and Boeing 787 Dreamliners valued at $52 billion at list prices, for the replacement and growth of its fleet.

The order is for 55 Boeing 777X-9 and 35 Boeing 777X-8, the airline said at the Dubai Airshow at DWC on Monday.

This new deal brings the airline's total 777X orders to 205 aircraft.

Deliveries of the first 777X-9 aircraft are expected to start in 2025, while handovers of the 777X-8 will begin in 2030.

The Dubai-based airline also added five more Boeing 787s to an existing order.

“Together these orders represent a significant investment that reflects Dubai's commitment to the future of aviation. It also supports the D33, Dubai's economic agenda,” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline Group said.

“A world-class air transport system contributes to the economic growth, increases Dubai's connectivity and brings in more foreign trade.”

The aircraft deals announced on Monday take the carrier's total order book to 295 aircraft.

Emirates also confirmed an order of 202 GE9X engines to power the additional 777X aircraft ordered on Monday, taking its total GE9X engine order to 460 units.

“This is a long-term commitment that supports hundreds of thousands of jobs, not only at Boeing but also the global aviation supply chain,” Sheikh Ahmed said.

“Our order today will replace Emirates' retiring fleet and also power our future growth plans.”

Stan Deal, president and chief executive of Boeing commercial, said: “All these products point to the future for Emirates, point to a more sustainable fuel burn in combined efforts with GE.”

flydubai's first wide-body aircraft order

Meanwhile, Emirates' sister airline flydubai kicked off the Dubai Airshow with an order for 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners valued at $11 billion, marking its first order for wide-body jets. Flydubai is currently an all-Boeing operator of 737 narrow-bodies serving shorter-haul routes, with the new order signifying a diversification of its fleet.

The aircraft order marks a new chapter for the airline, said Sheikh Ahmed, who is also the chairman of flydubai.

“flydubai remains focused on connecting previously underserved markets to and from Dubai and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner will expand the horizon for the carrier while adding more capacity on the existing routes,” Sheikh Ahmed said.

Mr Deal said the 787 Dreamliner order will “extend flydubai's reach in a very sustainable way”.

“We are committed to offering the right product at the right time to cater to the changing market and customer needs,” flydubai chief executive Ghaith Al Ghaith said. “The Boeing 787 Dreamliner offers a perfect combination of operational excellence, fuel efficiency as well as passenger appeal.”

The Emirates and flydubai orders “is an expression of our confidence in the future, our trust in our economy, and our trust in our national airlines and its cadres”, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said in a post on X on Monday.

The aircraft orders from the Dubai-based airlines come at a time when the global aviation industry continues to steadily rebound from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Global passenger traffic has rebounded to 97.3 per cent of its pre-pandemic levels in September, driven by record domestic traffic, the International Air Transport Association reported last week.

Emirates posted a record profit in the first half of its 2023 fiscal year as it ramped up capacity to meet strong international travel demand.

Profit stood at Dh9.4 billion ($2.6 billion) in the April to September period, up 135 per cent from the same period last year, the airline reported last week.

The record profit was underpinned by robust demand for long-haul travel during the peak summer season.

To meet this demand, the airline ramped up capacity in the first half of the financial year by resuming its Airbus A380 operations to Bali, Beijing, Birmingham, Casablanca, Nice, Shanghai and Taiwan.

During the same period, Emirates carried about 26.1 million passengers, which is up 31 per cent year-on-year.

By September 30, the airline was operating passenger and cargo services to 144 airports, utilising its entire Boeing 777 fleet and 104 A380s.

Updated: November 14, 2023, 6:39 AM