Dubai Airshow: EgyptAir places order for 10 Airbus A350s amid fleet expansion

North African airline is planning to grow its network and is considering long-haul flights to Shanghai and Los Angeles

An Airbus A350-1000 aircraft flies during the 2023 Dubai Airshow at Dubai World Central. AFP
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EgyptAir placed an order for 10 new Airbus A350 wide-body aircraft during the Dubai Airshow, its first for the model, as part of the airline's broader plans to expand its fleet and grow its long-haul network.

The North African airline will begin taking deliveries of the A350-900 jets starting in 2025 through to 2027, Yehia Zakaria, EgyptAir Holding's chairman and chief executive, said on Tuesday.

“I had a dream a few months ago when I received the first A320 Neo … I was dreaming that one day we will have the big birds behind me and now we made that dream come true,” Mr Zakaria said.

The National earlier reported that the airline was in talks with Airbus to secure A350s.

EgyptAir's current fleet includes a mix of Boeing and Airbus jets, including A320s and 737 narrow-bodies as well as older A330 and 777 wide-bodies.

The government-owned airline on Monday signed an agreement with Air Lease Corporation to lease 18 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, with deliveries coming between 2025 and 2026, skewing its single-aisle fleet towards the US plane maker.

The new 10 Airbus A350s will be powered by Rolls-Royce engines, Mr Zakaria said.

The deals will help EgyptAir with its ambitious plans to grow its fleet to 125 aircraft by 2028 – from 91 currently – in the first phase of its expansion.

EgyptAir, which was founded in 1932, also plans to expand its network to 100 destinations by 2028.

It is considering starting flights to new destinations in Asia, Europe and Africa.

The A350 aircraft could be deployed to long-haul routes such as Shanghai and Los Angeles, Mr Zakaria said.

Earlier this month, the airline announced new routes to Manchester, starting in July 2024, and New Delhi in August 2024.

Updated: November 14, 2023, 8:44 AM