With options to buy an additional 20 777-300ERs, Emirates Airline has placed an order for 50 of the Boeing jets in a deal valued at an estimated $18 billion.
The deal marked the opening of the Dubai Air Show Sunday, making an impression as the deal is described as the single largest order in the Boeing Company’s history of selling commercial aircraft. The purchase is one more example of the Middle East’s largest airline carrier’s efforts to continue its remarkable aggressive expansion push.
Delivery of the 50 wide body aircraft is set for 2015, according to Emirate’s chairman Sheik Ahmad bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
Emirates Airline is not the only carrier who has been expanding over the past year. Other Middle East airlines, such as Qatar Airways and Etihad of Abu Dhabi, have also engaged in bold growth strategies including buying additional aircraft and adding new routes to their business plans.
The option to purchase an additional 20 aircraft will up the value of the deal by $26 billion, Sheik Ahmad added, saying that the airline was examining a selection of different alternatives for funding the order, including export credit agencies and Islamic funding mechanisms.
Each of the Boeing 777-300 long range, wide body aircraft is valued at $298.3 million according to the aircraft manufacturer’s website. Each plane can carry 365 passengers and has a range of about 14,685 kilometers. According to Emirates Airline, the Boeing 777 is at the moment their most profitable of the company’s aircraft.