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Emirates one of the biggest Boeing 777 operators

Emirates' latest order makes it one of the biggest Boeing 777 operators

Emirates has placed firm orders for a further four Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with nine options. The 13 aircraft have a list price value of US$2.96 billion.

The contract was signed by Emirates' Chairman, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, and Boeing's President and CEO, Alan Mulally, at the Farnborough Air Show in the UK overnight. Maurice Flanagan, Emirates' Vice Chairman & Group President, Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, and Ghaith Al Ghaith, Emirates' Executive Vice President Commercial Operations Worldwide, were also present.

The four aircraft on firm order will be delivered during 2006. They will be configured in First, Business and Economy cabins with 12, 42 and 310 seats respectively. The remaining nine are covered by purchase rights that extend through 2012.

Sheikh Ahmed said: "The 777 has proved to be an excellent aircraft for Emirates, and is extremely popular with our passengers, cargo customers and crew. The new Extended Range version will provide the reliability and the extra capacity for passengers and cargo which we will need. The low operating costs, renowned passenger approval, and the revenue capability from both cargo and passengers are the main reasons we selected the 777-300ER."

Emirates currently operates 21 Boeing 777-300s and 777-200s. Next year, delivery will start of a separate group of 26 777-300ERs from leasing companies, as announced at the Paris Air Show last year. At that point, Emirates will operate the 777-200, 777-200ER, 777-300, and the 777-300ER. By late 2007, Emirates will have a total of 51 Boeing 777s, giving it one of the world's largest 777 fleets, with a list price value of US$10 billion.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally said: "When Emirates receives the 777-300ER, it will become one of three airlines in the world operating four members of the 777 family. That's further evidence of its commitment to be one of the world's premier airlines. We're honoured to be its partner."

The 777-300ER has a range of 8,900 km with a full passenger and cargo load, against a 6,700-km range for the 777-300. The aircraft's cargo capacity is a substantial 20,000 kg with a full passenger load.

Emirates will use the 777-300ER to further its expansion plans and to increase frequency on major trunk routes. The airline currently serves 77 destinations in 54 countries.

Boeing's 777 family is one of the world's most advanced, and the 777 is the only airplane to receive ETOPS (extended-range, twin-engine operations) certification upon first entering service.

In addition to its Boeing fleet, Emirates also operates the latest Airbus aircraft with a fleet of 29 Airbus A330-200s, eight A340-300s, five A340-500s and one A310 in service. On order are five more A340-500s, 20 A340-600s and 45 of the super-jumbo A380-800s, which will give Emirates one of the largest Airbus fleets in the world.

Emirates aircraft orders were announced at the Dubai Airshow 2001, the Paris Air Show last year and Farnborough Air Show this year. The aircraft on firm order will bring Emirates' fleet to 169 by 2012.

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