Emirates airline also reduced its order for Boeing 777X
Emirates scaled back a commitment to buy billions of dollars of Boeing wide-body jets, completing a recalibration of ambitious plans that has also seen it slash orders for Airbus planes.
The world’s biggest long-haul airline will now take 30 Boeing 787s worth $8.8 billion at list prices, together with 126 larger 777Xs, chairman Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum announced Wednesday at the Dubai Airshow.
That’s 34 planes fewer than originally planned, and follows the slimming down of orders with Airbus by a net 20 jets earlier this week.
Emirates had held back on finalising long-standing purchases - the 787 deal dated to 2017 and the 777X contract to 2014 - as it reviewed long-term fleet needs in light of an end to production of the A380 superjumbo. It’s also grappling with a slowing Gulf economy and concerns about the performance of some new plane models.
“We’re been looking at the 787 for a very long time,” Emirates President Tim Clark said at the Dubai show. “We want to get the plane into the network as soon as possible.”
The shrinking of the carrier’s commitments means Boeing and Airbus have together lost out on a potential 54 orders. At the same time, the manufacturers will be relieved to end the lingering uncertainty around blockbuster deals from an airline that’s helped drive wide-body plane production for years.
For Airbus, the Dubai event also saw a $14 billion, 120-aircraft order for its A320neo narrow-body from Air Arabia. Boeing recorded more limited success, though it managed to secure outline orders for its stricken 737 Max model, grounded in March after two fatal crashes in five months.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.