New Dreamliner too small for us, says Emirates

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Emirates Airline president Tim Clark.

Emirates Airline president Tim Clark.

Emirates president Tim Clark threw cold water on Boeing’s launch of the new improved and bigger 787-10 version of its flagship Dreamliner, saying the new model may not be big enough for the fast growing Dubai carrier, it has been reported.

Boeing launched the 787-10 version of its flagship Dreamliner aircraft at the Paris Airshow on Tuesday with 102 firm orders worth nearly $30 billion at list prices.

The news came after rival Airbus clinched an $11.5bn order from UK budget airline easyJet for 135 A320 neos, including 35 current-generation planes and 100 next-generation versions, with options for a further 100 aircraft.

While Boeing's much-anticipated launch with five airlines and leasing companies marked a sign of support for the 787, just months after the first version was grounded due to battery problems, Emirates Tim Clark said it might not be big enough.

“We’ll certainly study the 787-10, but it could be a tad small for us,” Clark told the Bloomberg news agency in Paris. He said it would need to have a range of 4,000 nautical miles and be able to carry a 50-ton load to be considered by it, he added.

Emirates has ordered 70 Airbus A350s and Clark said he was impressed by the French-made aircraft when it made its debut flight last week. “It stayed up there for four hours and didn’t come racing back,” he said. “They exceeded their expectations.”

The 787-8, introduced in late 2011, was grounded worldwide in January after its lithium-ion batteries overheated on two jets in about a week. It resumed commercial service in May after Boeing installed a redesigned battery system on the 50 jets in service.

Clark is increasingly looking to larger aircraft and he revealed he is in talks with Boeing to develop aircraft that will allow it to fly ultra long-haul flights of up to 20 hours.

The state-owned carrier currently flies to 134 destinations in 77 countries and Clark told The New Zealand Herald newspaper in an interview he would like to double that figure, but did not give any specific timeline for achieving this.

"Remember we don't always serve primary cities, we are into second-level and third-level airports," he was quoted as saying. "Demand is hard to predict, we are not masters. Because we find it easy to make changes - if we find we are running out of aeroplanes we'll just go and order some more."

The Dubai-based carrier, which is the largest in the world for international passengers, currently operates 200 wide-body Airbus and Boeing aircraft and has orders for an additional 194 aircraft, worth more than $71bn.

In a bid to achieve his goal of nearly 270 locations, the report said Clark was in talks with US manufacturer Boeing on a new model of the 777, the 777X, which would allow it to fly ultra long 20-hour flights.

Clark said Sydney to Rome was on the horizon if the US manufacturer could develop an aircraft that was comfortable enough for passengers to sustain such a single journey.

"You've got to make sure you've got sufficient bits and pieces in there to deal with it," he was quoted as saying. He said options would include light colour palettes and the use of mood lighting to try and "alleviate the stress and boredom".

As part of the 777 upgrade, the report said Clark was looking at options such as a new wing and engines and larger windows.

* With agencies

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Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: atco1962

I certainly hope that Tim Clark didn't mention that 4,000 mile range. If he did, he hasn't done his homework very well or he's asking for a massive range reduction.

Posted by: John Harte

If Boeing can develop a 777 that can fly for 20 hours, then why bother flying through Dubai? Most EK traffic is transfer passengers. 20 hours nonstop would enable you to fly from Europe to Australia and South Asia without changing planes.

Posted by: DNS

I think its got to do with the fact that many people dislike sitting in one place in an insulated cabin for more than half a day..

Besides, people who have not been to the Arabia could use this opportunity to drop by and witness a third destination..

Lastly, theres a financial incentive to it.. Flights from the UK must pay according to the geographical distance of the destination, ie, the further the destination from the UK, the higher the fee.. Thats one of the reasons why Qantas partnered with Emirates, cutting off ties with British Airways, removing the Singapore hub and placing their new hub in Dubai.

Posted by: Non-Muslim

"Clark said Sydney to Rome was on the horizon..."

Does Mr. Clark really expect that EK could be granted the necessary traffic rights to operate such nonstop flights between any non-UAE city pair(s)?

Posted by: milanrocks

@john harte
as nimby stated below RAH got his facts wrong again.

It is Italy, but Milan not Rome and you will fine it on this website with details. A new Dubai Milan New York service. Nice.

Posted by: John Harte

@RAH

Just checked the EK website and no they don't fly from Rome and JFK......it would be very odd if EK did.

There is no open skies agreement via EU from Dubai to USA, only an open skies agreement from EU to USA, and separate agreements from EU states to Dubai.

I think you are confusing the link up with Qantas?

Where are you getting this information from?

Posted by: nimby

They do not fly yet, but it will be Milan, not Rome RAH.

Research before adding incorrect comments.

Posted by: RAH

They already fly, with full traffic rights, between Rome and New York JFK.

Research before adding useless comments.

Posted by: Baba

Airbus is not a french company but a subsidiary of EADS which is owned 50% by Germany and 50% by France. Planes and parts are manufactured in England, Spain, France and Germany. These fine aircraft are european but definitely not french (would they fly otherwise?)

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