Emirates has just taken delivery of the first of its new fleet of 30 Boeing 777-300ERs (extended range).
Part of a $30 billion fleet expansion programme, the arrival of the new airliner at Dubai International Airport recently marks the start of an intense delivery cycle of 100 pending orders that will see the Emirates fleet grow at an average rate of one new aircraft per month through 2012.
Emirates has 30 Boeing 777-300ERs currently on firm order and will receive 10 of them by the end of this year. The airline’s order book also includes 45 Airbus A380s, one-third of the total firm orders taken so far by Airbus for the new double-decker superjumbo, 20 Airbus A340-600HGWs, two A340-500s and three A310-300 freighters.
The new Boeing 777-300ER was handed over to the airline recently at a ceremony in Seattle attended by Emirates’ chairman, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and other senior Emirates executives and Boeing’s chairman and CEO, Alan Mulally. The new aircraft later took off on its maiden flight to Dubai and completed the flight from Seattle to Dubai in just 14 hours.
Emirates fleet already includes 21 Boeing 777s, a number set to grow to 51 by late 2007, making Emirates one of the largest 777 operators in the world. The new Boeing 777-300ER will be used primarily to provide extra capacity on existing long-haul routes to Manila, Bangkok, Sydney and Auckland.
Sheikh Ahmed said: “The 777-300ER is an economically sound option for us to meet the growing customer demand for more capacity on our long-haul routes. Our trust in the 777 family stems from the proven performance and reliability of those aircraft already in operation in our fleet.”
The new Boeing 777-300ER fleet will incorporate a combination of two- and three-class configurations. The three-class aircraft will have a total of 364 seats - 12 in first, 42 in business and 310 in economy, while carrying up to 23 tonnes of cargo.
The two-class version of the new aircraft will have 427 seats with 42 in business class and 385 in economy. The first class cabin, served by four cabin crew, will offer passengers roomy, state-of-the-art sleeper seats with fully flat beds.
Meanwhile, on the third anniversary of Emirates’ operations to Morocco, the airline launched its seventh weekly flight to Casablanca on March 28, this year.
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