Emirates, the international airline of the UAE, announced today (Tuesday July 25) at Farnborough Air Show in the UK, its intention to purchase six Boeing B777-300s, the world`s longest aircraft.
The airline currently operates two B777-300s and two are due for delivery, one later this year and the other in the first quarter of 2001.
The delivery of the six B777-300s is expected during 2002 and 2003 and will bring to 10 the number of such aircraft in the airline`s fleet, which also includes nine Boeing 777-200 aircraft.
The Chairman of Emirates, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, who made the announcement, said: “Emirates has embarked on an ambitious expansion plan due to the demands of our customers for more routes and more flight frequencies. “I am pleased to announce that the purchase of the six additional Boeing 777-300s will assist in the airline`s plans for the 21st century.”
Emirates` first Boeing 777-300 was chosen to carry the airline`s new corporate livery which was inaugurated in November 1999 at the Dubai Air Show.
Seddik Belyamani, Executive Vice President - Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group, said: “We are extremely pleased at the confidence that Emirates has expressed in our 777s.” The 777 family has proven to be the most technologically-advanced airplane in the industry. With its unmatched range and economics, it is sure to provide Emirates with limitless opportunities.”
The previous day at Farnborough, Emirates became the first airline to formally commit to the superjet, the Airbus A3XX aircraft.
The contract, signed between Sheikh Ahmed and Noel Foregeard, Airbus Industrie`s Chief Executive Officer, entails the purchase of five passenger-carrying A3XXs and two freighter versions, with an option on five more aircraft. Deliveries of the passenger A3XXs will begin in February 2006, and those of the freighters in the spring of 2008.
Emirates also operates the Airbus A330-200 aircraft which is gradually replacing the airline`s core fleet of A310-300s and A300-600Rs.
Emirates is recognised as one of the most distinguished global carriers in the world and has been awarded over 190 international awards including, this year, the Airline of the Year by the Official Airline Guide (OAG), for the third time in a row.
The airline flies to 52 destinations in 39 countries and will add to its network the Indian city of Chennai on September 1 and the UK city of Birmingham on December 18.