Emirates airline announces order for 15 Airbus A350-900s

Dubai-based Emirates on Thursday announced an order for 15 long-haul Airbus A350-900s, bringing to 110 the number of additional aircraft the company has ordered at this year’s Dubai Air Show.

“The A350-900s will add to our fleet mix and we are pleased to announce additional orders for this aircraft type,” Emirates chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in a statement.

“We plan to deploy our A350s to serve a range of new markets including long-haul missions of up to 15 hours flying time from Dubai.”

The deal is worth $6 billion, the statement said, and all-told Emirates has committed to spending $58 billion on new aircraft at this year’s event in Dubai, the statement said.

On Monday, Emirates announced a much larger order, worth $52 billion, for 55 777-9s, 35 777-8s and five 787 Dreamliners from Airbus’s US-based rival Boeing.

Its sister airline flydubai, a budget carrier, separately ordered 30 Boeing 787-9s valued at $63 billion — its first wide-bodied, or large-capacity, planes as it looks to expand to new routes.

Christian Scherer, chief commercial officer for the European aerospace firm, said in a statement that Thursday’s deal represented “another solid step forward in the longstanding relationship agreement between Emirates and Airbus”.

He added: “Just as the A380 established itself at the heart of Emirates operations, we are equally proud of what the A350 will do in the years to come.”

As of the end of last month, Airbus had received more than 1,000 orders “from leading carriers around the globe” for A350s, the manufacturer said.

Emirates has now ordered 65 A350s, the first of which is expected to join the airline’s fleet in August 2024.

The airline will continue receiving A350 deliveries until 2028.

Along with the Boeing order announced on Monday, Emirates will have “a total order book of 310 wide-body aircraft”, the airline said.

“Emirates’ orders this week are all carefully planned to support our future growth and the Dubai economic vision,” Sheikh Ahmed said.

Aircraft purchases announced at the biennial Dubai Air Show have underlined the aviation industry’s post-pandemic recovery and bullishness about the future.

It is the first edition of the event since Emirates returned to profitability.

Last week Emirates Group announced record half-year net profits of 10.1 billion AED ($2.7 billion), up 138 percent from a year earlier.

Emirates posted a $5.5 billion loss in Covid-ravaged 2020-2021, its first in more than three decades, after grounding its fleet and making heavy layoffs.

Its losses shrank to $1.1 billion in 2021-2022. — Agence France-Presse