Emirates` fleet development is forging ahead with the recent signing of a leasing deal with the International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) for six Boeing 777-300s, the world`s longest aircraft.
Delivered over two years between 2002 and 2003, the aircraft will be deployed on the airline`s busiest routes. They will have either a three-class configuration of 18 First, 42 Business and 320 Economy Class seats, giving a total of 380, or in a two-class configuration of 49 Business and 385 Economy Class seats, totalling 434.
The ten-year lease contracts were signed by the Chairman of Emirates, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, and Alex Khatibi, Managing Director (Middle East) of the International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC).
Sheikh Ahmed said: “While we own the majority of our aircraft that make up our current fleet of Boeing and Airbus jets, we also operate aircraft on lease bases in order to maintain operating flexibility when planning future routing and fleet strength.”
Emirates has already signed lease agreements with ILFC for two B777-300 aircraft. The first was delivered in September and the second will be delivered in March 2001.
Emirates` current fleet strength stands at 31 aircraft, including three Boeing 777-300s and nine B777-200s. The airline is also the launch customer for the Airbus A3XX super jet, seven of which are due to be delivered from 2006.
Alex Khatibi said he was very pleased to be working with Emirates, adding: “We look forward to further developing our business relationship with the airline, which has now included 10 Airbus and Boeing widebody jets, including the A310-300s, the A300-600Rs and the B777-300s.”