Emirates is becoming more patient as it modernizes its fleet. Now it is clear: not only Boeing 787 and 777X arrive later than expected.
Emirates’ fleet modernization falters. The Dubai airline has repeatedly complained loudly about the delays of the Boeing 777X, of which it has ordered 115 copies. The first copies will arrive no earlier than 2025.
Airline president Tim Clark recently threatened to cancel the order for the 30 Boeing 787-9s also ordered and also delayed. “We are reviewing the whole situation and will see if the 787 has a place in the fleet or not,” said Clark.
The order for the A350 resulted from the cancellation of the A380
But the problem isn’t limited to Boeing planes. Emirates’ head of operations, Abdel Adel Ahmad Al Redha, told the Emarat Al Youm newspaper that his airline would receive the first Airbus A350 “in August 2024”. Emirates had ordered 50 A350-900s at the Dubai Air Show in 2019 – at that time there was talk of 2023 for the first delivery.
The backdrop to the A350 order was the cancellation of 39 Airbus A380s by Emirates in February 2019. As a replacement, the airline first signed a letter of intent for 30 A350-900s and 40 A330 Neos. It never became a firm order. Instead, Emirates signed the firm order for 50 A350-900s in November 2019.
Wait and convert
The Emirates fleet currently consists of Boeing 777s and Airbus A380s. The airline is converting more and more of these aircraft for longer life.