Emirates places massive $16 billion order for 50 Airbus A350s

Nov 18, 2019

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2017’s Dubai Air Show was a blockbuster event for Emirates. That’s where we first met the carrier’s incredible new first-class suite, along with a couple of versions of its updated business class.

This year’s event was shaping up to be remarkably dull by comparison, but Emirates just threw us a curveball with an absolutely massive order for Airbus’ latest jet.

On Monday at the Dubai Air Show, Emirates CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury signed a purchase agreement for 50 Airbus A350-900s, worth $16 billion at today’s list prices. The announcement follows the carrier’s plan from earlier this year to purchase 30 A350s and 40 A330neos.

The world’s largest Airbus A380 operator will be the second largest A350-900 operator as well, just behind Singapore Airlines, which flies two versions of the -900, including an ultra-long-range variant capable of operating the world’s longest flight.

Emirates plans to operate its "latest products" on the A350-900, though hopefully we'll see direct aisle access with a new business seat.
Emirates plans to operate its “latest products” on the A350-900, though hopefully we’ll see direct aisle access with a new business seat. (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

Emirates had also intended to purchase Boeing’s 787 Dreamliners, though there wasn’t any reference to that order today, with the carrier’s CEO stating “Complementing our A380s and 777s, the A350s will give us added operational flexibility in terms of capacity, range and deployment.”

An Emirates spokesperson stated, “We continue to be in discussions with Boeing on the 787s.”

Emirates expects to take delivery of its first A350-900 in May 2023, with deliveries continuing until 2028. The carrier plans to operate the A350 fleet from its Dubai (DXB) hub, serving “a range” of new regional and long-haul markets. The A350s will offer Emirates’ “latest products,” including a yet-to-be-released premium-economy seat.

Featured photo courtesy of Airbus.

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