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Largest-ever aircraft order: Emirates Boeing 777X, Airbus A380

By Chris Chamberlin     Filed under: emirates, Airbus A380, Boeing 777X, Dubai Air Show

In the largest aircraft order ever placed, the Emirates fleet is set to expand by 200 aircraft – including the Boeing 777X and Airbus A380.

Comprised of 35 Boeing 777-8Xs, 115 Boeing 777-9Xs and 50 Airbus A380 aircraft, the orders are worth an estimated US$99 billion at list prices, excluding the value of 50 purchase rights that the airline has also acquired for the Boeing 777X.

The single largest aircraft order by value in the history of U.S. commercial aviation, Emirates' purchase order joins that of Etihad earlier today.

"Emirates’ aircraft orders today, with deliveries of the 777X scheduled to start in 2020, will take us to 2025 and beyond – replacing aircraft due for retirement and providing the foundation for future growth,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group.

"Emirates today operates more than one in every 10 Boeing 777 aircraft built" observed Emirates Airline President Tim Clark. "It is the workhorse of our fleet."

"What the 777X does, is offer us a flying range comparable with the 200LRs and 300ERs, but with more passenger capacity at potentially up to 18% more fuel efficiency.”

The first 25 of the A380 aircraft on order are scheduled to be delivered before the first quarter of 2018, notably in a mix of two and three-class cabin configurations.

For the latest information for business travellers and frequent flyers, follow @AusBT on Twitter.


About Chris Chamberlin

Chris lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, an opera ticket and a glass of wine!


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1 on 18/11/13 by fxdxdy

That order might be the one that makes the A380 program break even

1 on 18/11/13 by Serg

I am not really excited by explosion growth of Emirates. Soon (if not already) Qantas will be seen as Emirates subsidiary. Personally I like when QF to be teamed BA. And as pointed somewhere although Emirates offer one stop to many European cities, it means long wait in Dubai or incredibly inconvenient arriving/departure time. For example Kiev (city of my interest, but in Europe everything very close anyway) sees arriving time 21:20 (already not so good) while departure is 02:30 (yes, 2 and half hour after midnight). How much I should love Dubai to be keen? Connection back to direct flight is OK, while forward I have either wait 12 hours on Dubai or catch plane via Singapore with prospective landing on Sri Lanka – try to convince me that it is convenient! Qantas via Dubai is out of question altogether – 17 hours of layover! Meantime BA (and QF for this merit) arrives in London at incredibly convenient time allowing you just change terminals and go. Return trip also spot on regards of time. Emirates is massive monster and they flying everywhere. They just doing it incredibly inconveniently.


1 on 19/11/13 by watson374

Singapore was a much better hub, but the associated timings weren't great for us who were flying to Asian ports to actually get off there.

Frequency would have served them much, much better than A380s. There's a good reason why Cathay was spamming A330s against Qantas.

1 on 19/11/13 by Serg

It is correct – all QF and BA timing was oriented on Europe and not Asia. I could not find any usable flight by QF and had to use SQ when flying for business to Singapore. So yes, QF simply should serve more services to Singapore with both kinds of travelers in mind.

However main advantage of teaming with Emirates (so we was told) was “one jump” to dozens cities in Europe. But timing of both QF flights via Dubai is still London oriented – not convenient for flying to Dubai neither for flying via Dubai. As result anyone who book to Europe by Qantas is more lucky to fly Emirates like MEL – SIN – CMB – DBX – KBP then to Dubai by QF and EK to destination. Or still fly straight to London and then to destination by BA.

So I cannot see QF as “partner” of EK, but rather subsidiary.


2 on 18/11/13 by LR

WOW dose that make 140 total EK orders for A380?

1 on 18/11/13 by Chris

The airline now has 101 A380s on order (in addition to the number already received).

2 on 18/11/13 by Christopher


3 on 18/11/13 by Christopher

Emirates will have 90 A380s by November 2017

3 on 18/11/13 by TheRealBabushka

Emirates' growth represents a real opportunity for other legacy carriers to define their niche markets and tailor their products to fit those markets. Emirates can't be everything to everyone... There is some real opportunity for the likes of BA, CX, SQ and LH.

1 on 18/11/13 by watson374

Agreed. While EK has great advantages on the Kangaroo Route, its positioning in Dubai (and over-reliance on large aircraft) exposes some weaknesses - weaknesses that are especially ripe for the big Asian carriers to exploit, but you're right to say that carving out a niche to fortress themselves in is an excellent opportunity.

Firstly, some lucrative markets are pretty much locked out for EK. The one that springs to mind is the Australia-Asia market. Although EK (and EY) operate one-stop flights to Australia via Asia (e.g. DXB-SIN-MEL, DXB-BKK-SYD), the timings are actually pretty rubbish, especially going back to Asian ports.

Another strong market where I cannot see EK doing well is the Asia-Europe market, simply because the likes of CX/BA and SQ/LH can offer nonstops bypassing DXB.

I think that there will be strongholds (e.g. CX/SQ regionals) as well as battlegrounds (Kangaroo Route) as we move forwards. These are exciting times.

1 on 18/11/13 by KK

EK is also targeting the one-stop services from Asian hubs to the second tier cities in Europe, such as Lyon and Glascow. They can offer more flexible schedule than the European legacy carriers.  

Another strong market for them is East Asia & India-Africa. 

The other carriers must worry about EK's seat dumping strategy in future. 

1 on 18/11/13 by watson374

Indeed. The problem is that the EK strategy would probably be a secondary city to secondary city behemoth, via DXB.

For the legacies at each end, this creates issues. CX doesn't appear on the cusp of flying to Manchester or Lyons, and SQ doesn't seem about to unleash services to Dusseldorf or Birmingham. BA would be insane to start flying direct to Penang, and Lufthansa certainly isn't going to fly to Kota Kinabalu.

The problem for EK is that their position in Dubai currently weakens their ability to actually fly to lots of secondary cities in Asia, and I think their reliance on 77Ws and A380s is part of this. I suspect this is why they are angling for lots of long-and-thin aircraft in the massive A350 orders.

The Asian and European legacies can work around this, though. The key is the one-stop business. I believe that both the Asian and European legacies can use the same long-and-thin aircraft to strike back at EK, by making routes like Singapore to say, Copenhagen or Dusseldorf viable in the same way as Dubai to Adelaide.

This will be tricky, because both ends are locked into a network based on long-hauls being fed by short-hauls. I suspect alliances will again come back into the fore, as legacies hit back at EK, EY and QR by having a series of hubs at each end, fed by short-hauls and 'fanning' out to the other end, creating a criss-cross of long-hauls bypassing the Middle Eastern hubs.

But it's also worth looking at other things. EK is 'seat dumping', but at the same time it's not seat dumping - instead, they're targeting the lower end a lot harder, allowing them to pack the Economy cabin up the wazoo and making them big bucks.

The one-stop battle would seem to be a short-haul and a long-haul vs. two medium-hauls, and a battle of hubs. They're going to need backup strongholds, though, before EK decides they can offer tickets on their own metal for Johor Bahru to Glasgow with only one stop and cheaper than SQ or BA to boot.

2 on 18/11/13 by TheRealBabushka

I'm not sure price is the only factor, especially not for the segments of the market which offers the best premiums and higher yields...

There is a cultural element to the flying experience that transcends pricing.

It is in the understanding of that cultural element, which would enable you to finesse your product offering to compete against the behemoth...

1 on 18/11/13 by watson374

Indeed, but price is important to the vast majority of leisure flyers at the back of the bus. This is where EK is making a killing.

If we're talking about cultural elements in the forward cabins, I'd say it looks a lot more even. It's all very complicated, but I think EK has some natural disadvantages that will take a lot of work to get around. For example, the fact that Asia-Europe nonstops have excellent overnight timings on long sectors - leave at midnight, arrive early morning but have a long flight to get some kip. This gets wrecked by a DXB stop.

The only thing that is certain is that this future is uncertain. But I think it's bright for those who are ready to strike.

4 on 18/11/13 by Hugo

Why is there a kid there?

1 on 18/11/13 by TheRealBabushka

I should imagine if you're the child of an eastern prince/king, anything goes?

5 on 18/11/13 by eminere

They must be so cashed up.

6 on 18/11/13 by Ben84

You can be sure Emirates will be making a play for the Asian market before long.

1 on 19/11/13 by watson374

They have natural disadvantages in Asia. Simply put, their one-stop network will be outclassed on heavy routes by Asian and European nonstop flights; they will not (anytime soon) have a commanding regional presence in Asia; their timings between Asia and Australia are appalling; they will be clobbered by SQ and CX; Asia-America is probably not yet practical.

In my current sleep-deprived state, I'm going to confidently put forward the notion that they're going to try transatlantic tag flights on their European routes, e.g. DXB-LHR-JFK.

7 on 19/11/13 by mb68

Does anyone know EK,s (real ) annual net profit?

1 on 21/8/14 by Jedinak K

I can tell you this much, they have acquired profit for 22 consecutive years. So I'm guessing it's time to go on a shopping spree.

2 on 22/8/14 by Chris

The last annual report has US$887 million against revenues of US$22.5 billion – the 26th consecutive year of profit.


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