DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Emirates Airline on Monday announced an order for 95 Boeing aircraft at a value of $52 billion, kicking off the first major deal of the 2023 Dubai Airshow.
The state-owned flagship Dubai carrier, a subsidiary of Emirates Group, is ordering 55 additional Boeing 777-9s and 35 of its 777-8s, bringing the airline’s total orders for the 777X widebody jets to 205 units. It is also updating its order of Boeing 787 Dreamliners from 30 to 35, comprised of 15 787-10s and 20 787-8s.
Emirates also confirmed its order of a further 202 engines from General Electric: the GE9X engines, which will power the new 777X aircraft. The announcement brings Emirates’ total GE9X engine order to 460. The 777 aircraft can fly for up to 18 hours.
Emirates already operates the largest number of Boeing 777 aircraft of any airline in the world. The continued appetite for widebody jets highlights the importance of the Middle East market to the aircraft model’s demand. Middle East customers now account “for the largest portion of combined
Airbus and Boeing widebody passenger backlog at 30% of the global total,” according to analysts at wealth management firm AllianceBernstein.
This is due in large part to the Middle East region’s role as a connection hub for long haul journeys. Both Boeing and Airbus have highlighted the region as a major source of demand for wide-body aircraft, with buoyant long-term growth outlooks and healthy recovery in air travel demand since the Covid-19 pandemic fueling airlines’ optimism and orders.
“Emirates is the biggest operator of Boeing 777 aircraft, and today’s order cements that position. We’ve been closely involved in the 777 program since its start up until this latest generation of 777X aircraft,” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group, said during the press conference.
“The 777 has been central to Emirates’ fleet and network strategy of connecting cities on all continents non-stop to Dubai,” he said. “We are pleased to extend our relationship with Boeing and look forward to the first 777-9 joining our fleet in 2025.”