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Emirates opts for Airbus at the Dubai Air Show news
Our Corporate Bureau
12 November 2007
Airbus has bagged the largest remaining jet order of the year. At the Dubai Aerospace Air Show on Sunday 11 November, Emirates Airlines chose the Airbus A350 over Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.

The Dubai-based Emirates ordered 50 A350-900s and 20 A350-1000s and took options on 50 more A350-900s. The ambitious carrier also rejected the new bigger 747 Boeing is offering and instead ordered more A380 superjumbos.

The total Emirates firm order with Airbus is valued at $20 billion at list prices. However, allowing for standard discounts based on market estimates by Avitas, the deal should be worth around $11.4 billion. Still, the order is so large that it could potentially cost Boeing the annual orders race with Airbus.

Emirates firmed up orders for eight A380s and placed firm orders for an additional three of the double-decker aircraft. Emirates now has 58 of the giant A380s on firm order.

As small consolation, Emirates also ordered 12 Boeing 777-300ERs. The Emirates 777 order is valued at $3.2 billion as per list prices. However, using full-service aviation consulting firm Avitas's market valuations, the deal is worth about $1.8 billion.

Emirates has tried to persuade Boeing to fast track a 787-10 stretch version of the Dreamliner, bigger than the three variants it presently offers. However, Boeing has not obliged. Emirates feels the 787-9 is a smaller aircraft with too few seats.

Any expectation that Emirates might go for Boeing's 747-8 - the new stretch version of its venerable jumbo jet - disappeared last week when the airplane manufacturer announced a firm configuration for the airplane. The announced design is nowhere near the Emirates requirement for a shorter, longer-range version of the airplane.

At the end of September, total Airbus orders for the year stood at 854 or 791 after cancellations. As of last week, Boeing had 956 orders after cancellations. If Boeing had won the Emirates order, the company's sales tally for the year would certainly have topped that of Airbus. Nevertheless, after Airbus's Dubai triumph, the race is neck-and-neck.


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Emirates opts for Airbus at the Dubai Air Show