Dubai’s Emirates Airline is actively involved in the designing of Boeing’s new 777 model, the US manufacturer has confirmed.
“Boeing is partnering with key 777 customers such as Emirates in the design of the 777X,” a spokesperson confirmed.
Marty Bentrott, Boeing’s vice president of sales in the Middle East, Russia and Central Asia, told reporters at a briefing in Seattle last week the planemaker was “actively engaged with Emirates on the next generation 777 and as the largest 777 customer in the world, they deserve our focus and our attention.”
The Dubai carrier currently has 194 aircraft in services, 184 on order and options on an additional 100. It is currently operating 3 Boeing 777-200, 6 Boeing 777-200ER, 10 Boeing 777-200ER, 12 Boeing 777-300 and 90 Boeing 777-300ER.
While Emirates is due to start retiring its existing 777 fleet in 2017, the Gulf carrier has not confirmed how many new aircraft it is looking to order in the coming years.
“From our stand point, this family of airplane needs to be effective for Emirates’ business plan because their vision is they have a 777 replacement cycle starting towards the end of this decade,” Bentrott said.
The new model in the range, the 777x, will have a range capability of around 9,300 miles and will be able to carry up to 360 passengers, but will be 20 percent more fuel efficient than the existing versions.
Emirates now operates flight services to 134 destinations in 77 countries from Dubai.