In November of 2017, Emirates made an announcement that it would be ordering 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft for delivery in 2022. However, earlier this year there were rumors circulating that there was going to be a cancellation of the order in favor of the Boeing 777X. But now, according to Air Transport World (ATW), Emirates president Tim Clark is saying that “Emirates would stick to its large commitment for Boeing 787-10s.“
The remarks took place at the IATA 2019 Annual General Meeting on June 2nd in Seoul, South Korea. Clark spoke more on the utilization of smaller widebodies like the 787, A330neo and A350, saying that there are:
“…ultra-long-haul routes from Dubai that cannot be justified with the 777X or A380. There are a lot more cities that we can do in the US, India and Africa with a 250-seater,”
The A330neo can accommodate between 260 and 300 seats in a typical three-class layout, while the 787-10 is closer to 330. These remarks are a great addition to the comments made during their original 2017 announcement of the order:
“We see the 787 as a great complement to our 777 and A380 fleet, providing us with more flexibility to serve a range of destinations as we develop our global route network.”
Thought to be a cancelled order
We at Simple Flying, along with other aviation websites, were reporting suspicions that Emirates had a change of heart with regards to their 787-10 order.
This conclusion was made because Emirates, in their Financial Year-End reporting, wrote a summary of their fleet of future aircraft without mention of any Boeing 787 aircraft. This led many to believe that the original order was removed. Additionally, Boeing actually never added the order to their books, which we found rather strange.
Other Emirates orders
Emirates has been making clear steps to modernize their fleet and maintain its reputation of having a young, up to date selection of aircraft.
In addition to the 40 787-10 aircraft, Emirates will also be taking:
- 40 Airbus A330-900s – scheduled to arrive in 2021
- 30 Airbus A350-900s – scheduled to arrive in 2024
All of this is happening as the Airbus A380 quietly fades into the background. Emirates has always held the title of having the world’s largest A380 fleet. According to Wikipedia, the airline has an astounding 110 A380s in their fleet with 14 more still on order.
Even as newer aircraft orders steal the spotlight, President Clark points out that the superjumbos still have “enormous market pull”. In fact, they still operate at very high load factors, in the premium cabins in particular. According to the ATW article. “We will continue to invest in them and fly them into the mid-2030s,” he said.
In fact, we recently reported the Emirates announcement of the world’s shortest A380 route from Dubai to Muscat.
Dreamliner in the news
The Emirates reconfirmation of their order is happening amidst something of a problem with poor production quality of the Dreamliner at Boeing’s South Carolina factory. A report from The New York Times alleges that Boeing customers receiving aircraft have not only been dissatisfied with the final product, but have also been finding tools, metal shavings, defects and mistakes in the Dreamliner planes.
Apparently, some of these defects were appearing close to mission critical wiring and controls. Furthermore, some customers have reportedly had to go over their aircraft with a fine toothed comb, at their own expense.
However, with Boeing under intense scrutiny as a result of this news becoming public, it is almost a guarantee that 787s being delivered now will be inspected much more carefully before delivery.