Emirates Orders 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners But Reduces 777X Deal

Emirates has ordered 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in a blockbuster deal with US manufacturer Boeing. The deal was just announced this morning, Wednesday, November 20, 2019, in Dubai. The list value of the order is USD$8.8 billion.

Emirates orders 30 Boeing 787-9s. Photo: Emirates

It follows a deal Emirates struck yesterday with Airbus for 50 A350-900 XWBs. Based on list prices, that deal is worth up to USD$16 billion.

The details of the 787-9 deal

In 2017, Emirates placed a tentative order for 40 Boeing 787-10s but the deal was never finalized, as a separate order for 150 Boeing 777Xs ran into delays.

Today’s order will substitute 30 of the 777Xs for 787-9s. Emirates will still be taking some Boeing 777Xs. A spokesperson said;

“The 787-9 Dreamliner will complement the fleet by expanding flexibility, range, and deployment.”

The 787-9 Dreamliners will be introduced onto longer, thinner routes. Today’s order means the Dubai based airline will bring a modern, fuel-efficient medium-sized aircraft into its fleet to complement the airline’s larger Boeing 777s and A380s.

During the signing, Emirates CEO Shiekh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said;

“I am pleased to announce firm order for 30 Boeing Dreamliners. 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. The 787s will complement our fleet mix by expanding our 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.”

The delivery of the first Boeing 787-9 will be in 2023. Photo: Emirates.

Boeing’s Stanley Deal said during the signing;

“We are excited to finalize this important order from one of the world’s leading airlines. Our 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. It is an honor to build on our successful partnership with Emirates and continue to sustain many jobs at Boeing and our supplier partners.”

All water under the bridge

Emirates has dug in its heels in recent months, criticising production delays and problems with delivered aircraft, and taking aim at both Boeing and Airbus. In September, Emirates CEO Tim Clark said;

“We are not in a business to deal with aircraft that don’t function properly.

I am a little bit irritated that, over the years, we as an airline, and I think as the industry, have been subjected to the requirements of the propulsion manufacturers, and to an extent the airframe manufacturers, where we are expected to deal with quality control issues and design issues, and operate these aircraft and engines, and take whatever consequences there are when they don’t work.”

Emirates CEP Shiek Ahmed with Boeing Commercial Planes CEO Stanley Deal. Photo: Thomas Boon / Simple Flying.

That appears to be water under the bridge today. It is also a big shot in the arm for Boeing who has had a horrendous year. In addition to the ongoing 737 MAX grounding, engine issues with the 787s, and production delays with the 777X, they were seriously outgunned by Airbus at the Paris Air Show in June this year. To top it all of they were publicly eviscerated at a series of US Senate hearings in late October.

The first deliveries of the Emirates Boeing 787-9 will be in 2023.