Carriers Place Significant Aircraft Orders at Dubai Airshow


During the Dubai Airshow 2023 this week, multiple airlines made commitments to update or expand their fleets through aircraft purchases. 

Emirates placed orders with both Boeing and Airbus. The carrier on Monday agreed to a $52 billion order with Boeing for 95 additional widebody aircraft, bringing its total order book to 295 aircraft. The additional models include 55 Boeing 777-9s, 35 777-8s and five 787 Dreamliners. The first 777-9 is expected to join Emirates’ fleet in 2025, with additional aircraft to be delivered through 2035. The first 777-8s are expected in 2030.

On Thursday, Emirates announced an order for 15 additional Airbus A350-900s, worth $6 billion. The first of the planes already on order is scheduled to join Emirates’ fleet in August 2024. With the additional aircraft, the carrier now expects A350 deliveries to continue until early 2028.

Emirates’ Flydubai subsidiary agreed to purchase 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners “as the airline diversifies its fleet with the introduction of widebody aircraft,” the carrier announced Monday. The value of the order is $11 billion. Flydubai’s current fleet is composed of Boeing 737 aircraft. 

Ethiopian Airlines on Tuesday agreed to order 11 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and 20 Boeing 737-8 Max aircraft, with an option for 15 and 21 additional planes, respectively. The order of up to 67 aircraft “represents the largest-ever purchase of Boeing airplanes in African history,” according to Ethiopian Airlines.

Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines also agreed to cabin modifications for the carrier’s existing 787 Dreamliners to feature new seats, including lie-flat business-class seats.

The largest potential order buzzed about during the week, however, was between Turkish Airlines and Airbus. The carrier confirmed on Monday that it is in “ongoing” discussions with the aircraft producer to purchase 355 aircraft—240 firm and 115 optional—to be delivered between 2026 and 2036. The deal is awaiting board of directors approval, according to Turkish Airlines.

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