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Dream order: Emirates places Dh32.3B order for Boeing 787-9 aircraft

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on November 20, 2019
Boeing Dreamliner, Emirates, Dubai Airshow 2019, Airshow, Dubai Airshow
Sheikh Ahmed and Stanley Deal during the announcement of the purchase agreement for 30 Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 aircraft worth Dh32.3 billion at the Dubai Airshow on Wednesday.

(Supplied photo)

The new order will take Emirates' total orders during the ongoing Airshow to Dh91B

Emirates airline on Wednesday announced a deal with Boeing to purchase 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners for $8.8 billion (Dh32.3 billion), which will take the total order book in the first four days of the Dubai Airshow to over Dh200 billion.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chiarman of Emirates airline and Chief Executive of the Emirates Group, and Stanley Deal, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, announced the deal during a Press conference at the event.

The deliveries of the Dreamliner will start from 2023 and will continue until 2028.

The deal is part of Dubai-based Emirates’ order restructure for 150 wide-body 777X jets, which are facing delays. It is the second mega order by the carrier at the ongoing airshow.

On Monday, Emirates ordered 50 Airbus A350 aircraft worth $16 billion (Dh58.7 billion) on the second day of the show. The latest deal with Boeing will take Emirates’ total orders at the event to $24.8 billion (Dh91 billion).

Total deals in the first four days of the airshow jumped to Dh208 billion, nearly half of the total value of deals signed during the 2017 edition.

“This is an important investment and addition to our future fleet and it reflects Emirates’ continued efforts to provide the best-quality air transport services to our customers,” Sheikh Ahmed said.

He said the 787s will complement the fleet mix by expanding operational flexibility in terms of capacity, range and deployment. “We are also pleased to reaffirm our commitment to the Boeing 777x programme and look forward to its entry into service,” he added.

777x update

Sheikh Ahmed said the new order replaces a previous agreement for 150 777x Boeing aircraft announced at the 2013 Dubai Airshow. Now, the airline will purchase 126 of the 777x aircraft and 30 of the 787-9 Dreamliners and the deal value will remain around $56 billion. For the 777x, the airline said discussions with Boeing will start over the next few weeks on the status of deliveries.

As part of deal with Boeing, Emirates will update a portion of its large order book by exercising substitution rights and converting 30 777 airplanes into 30 787-9s. With this conversion, Emirates remains the world’s biggest 777x customer with 126 aeroplanes on order and the largest 777 operator with 155 aircraft today.

“The agreement solidifies Emirates’ plan to operate the 787 Dreamliner and the 777x, which make up the most efficient and most capable widebody combination in the industry,” said Deal.

Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research, said in reducing the 777x orders, partially in lieu of the delays to flight testing, Emirates will be equipped with a much more flexible fleet that aligns itself to more disciplined capacity management on routes where demand often warrants a smaller airplane than the current 777-300ER or 777-200LR. This is where the 787-9 for Emirates will now fit the bill.

“Given the flexibility that Emirates has with its future fleet, it may well look to procure 787-10s, as it had originally done in 2017. But for now, the decision this week to place multi-billion dollar orders for two of the most fuel-efficient airplanes available today, it is evident that Emirates is reshaping its business to become not just agile in the face of competition, but to be able to respond quicker and flexibly to demand changes across its network and use the long-range and mid-range mission capability of the 787-9 to fit its operations in a way that the bigger 777, 777X and A380 could not do,” Ahmad said.

Overall, Airbus netted around $38 billion in new plane orders at the airshow this week to Boeing’s roughly $17 billion, though not all are firm orders. Around $20 billion of these commercial purchasing announcements were made by low-cost carriers.

The 777X was originally scheduled to take off on its first test flight this summer, but its development has been slowed by issues with the engine; Boeing has pushed back the timeframe to early 2021.

— waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com


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