RIYADH: Middle East carriers revealed significant fleet expansion plans at the beginning of the Dubai Airshow on Monday, with both Emirates and its sister airline flydubai announcing new aircraft orders from Boeing.
Emirates committed to an additional 95 wide-body aircraft worth $52 billion from the American aviation giant, bringing the total order book to 295, according to an official press release.
The UAE flag carrier is set to acquire Boeing 777-9s, 777-8s, and 787s, aligning with its vision to connect even more cities globally and support Dubai’s economic agenda.
It emphasized its commitment with firm orders for 55 additional 777-9s and 35 777-8s, expanding its 777-X order book to a total of 205 units.
The airline also confirmed an order for 202 GE9X engines to power the additional 777X aircraft, bringing its total GE9X engine order to 460 units. These investments set the stage for Emirates to be a launch customer of the 777-8 passenger variant.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates, said in a statement that these additional aircraft will enable Emirates to connect even more cities, supporting the Dubai economic agenda D33 set out by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, UAE vice president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai, to add 400 cities to Dubai’s foreign trade map over the next decade.”
He added: “By the early 2030s, we expect the Emirates fleet to be around 350-strong, connecting Dubai to even more cities around the world.”
With first deliveries expected in 2026, this move is set to enhance Emirates’ capacity and position the airline for future growth.
“This order is an incredible vote of confidence in the efficiency and versatility of the 777X family to meet Emirates’ needs for global long-haul travel,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
He added that 777-9 and 777-8 are the “perfect airplanes” to support Emirates’ growth plans, improving environmental performance and unmatched payload capability.
Meanwhile, the low-cost carrier flydubai revealed plans to diversify its fleet with 30 new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.
This represents a notable step as flydubai ventures into wide-body aircraft for the first time, showcasing the airline’s focus on adapting and innovating within the conventional travel landscape.
The Boeing 787-9, known for its operational efficiency, fuel economy, and passenger appeal, fits well with flydubai’s plan to explore new, extended routes and increase capacity across its network.
This order follows the airline’s trajectory in aircraft acquisitions, starting with 50 Next-Generation Boeing 737 aircraft in 2008 and culminating in this latest commitment for 30 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
With deliveries expected to commence in 2026, flydubai said it looks to leverage the Dreamliner’s capabilities to meet growing demand and expand its network further.