The Middle East’s biggest carrier, the Dubai-based Emirates, announced on Wednesday a firm order for 30 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in a deal valued at $8.8 billion.
Emirates CEO and Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said this order replaces an agreement for 150 Boeing 777s to 126 of that aircraft, and adds 30 of the 787-9 Dreamliners. He spoke to reporters at the Dubai Airshow.
Combined with Emirates’ previous announcement this week for new Airbus aircraft, this brings the airline’s total orders at the airshow to $24 billion. Airlines, however, typically negotiate steep discounts from manufacturers.
On Monday, Emirates announced it would be buying 20 additional wide-body Airbus A350s, bringing its total order for the aircraft to 50 in an agreement worth $16 billion at list price.
That deal, however, replaces a $21.4 billion agreement struck in February to purchase 70 Airbus aircraft, which had included 40 of the A330s. Delivery is slated to start in 2023.
The Emirates, which feeds Dubai’s busy international airport, posted significantly lower earnings of $237 million last year due to spikes in fuel costs at the end of 2018, a strengthened U.S. dollar, lower airfreight demand and weakened travel demand.
The five-day Dubai biennial airshow, which started Sunday, draws major commercial and military firms from around the world, as well as smaller manufacturers competing for business in the Middle East. The United States has the largest foreign country presence with around 140 exhibitors.
Officials from the U.S. Department of Defense and State Department are also at the airshow, meeting with officials from the United Arab Emirates, which is one of the world’s top buyers of American-made weapons and defense equipment.