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Mon 16 Nov 2009 11:29 AM

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Emirates in talks with Boeing, Airbus for more planes

UPDATE 1: Airline's chairman says new orders could number in the 'tens of planes'.

Emirates airline is discussing new aircraft orders with Boeing and Airbus which could number "10s of planes," its chairman said on Monday.

The Arab world's largest airline already has orders worth $55 billion with the two manufacturers.

"We are in discussions ... there won't be anything at the air show (but) we are talking to Boeing and Airbus," Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum told reporters at the Dubai air show. "It would be in the 10s of planes ... I think we can say 777s (from Boeing) and could be A330s on the Airbus side."

The airline's chairman said any decision would depend "on how fast we can conclude the terms that we want".

Last week, Emirates said it might take over orders its rivals are looking to delay as it prepares for the global recovery.

The carrier faces delays in delivery of A380 superjumbos slated for mid-2010, a development likely to hit its route expansion plan.

Emirates is the largest customer for the superjumbo, with 58 aircraft on order.

Sheikh Ahmed said the airline would see "excellent" profit results for the year.

Emirates' first-half revenues fell 13.5 percent but the Dubai-owned carrier bucked the downward trend in aviation with earnings surging 165 percent driven by lower costs.

Nonetheless, the airline's chairman said the carrier did not make any job cuts or cut salaries to achieve the results.

"I think we should do better than what we were expecting ... double what we saw in the first six months, double by two ... about 2 billion dirhams in profit."

Earlier this month the airline reported it made a profit in the first half of its financial year which ends Sept. 30 of 752 million dirhams ($205 million), up from 284 million dirhams made in the same period a year earlier. (Reuters)

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