July 19 (Bloomberg) -- Emirates announced an order for 30 Boeing Co. 777-300ER aircraft valued at $9.1 billion, as the largest Arab airline expands its fleet of long-range jets.
The airline disclosed the order today during the Farnborough Air Show in the U.K. Of the 30 planes, 18 had already been ordered and were listed in Boeing’s backlog as coming from an undisclosed customer.
Today’s announcement adds to the 71 777-300ERs Emirates previously ordered, of which 53 aircraft are now in service, the airline said. The accord with Chicago-based Boeing follows a deal last month to acquire 32 additional A380 superjumbos from Airbus SAS.
The order “affirms Emirates’ strategy to become a world leading carrier and to further establish Dubai as a central gateway to worldwide air travel,” Emirates Chairman Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said in an e-mailed statement. “Our latest deal signals Emirates’ confidence in the growth of the thriving aviation sector.”
Middle Eastern carriers including Emirates and Qatar Airways Ltd. have become among the biggest buyers of commercial aircraft as they seek to use their geographical advantage to build global networks. Emirates can reach 95 percent of the world’s population from Dubai on an A380, according to Airbus.
Emirates is the largest operator of Boeing 777s, which typically seat between 300 and 400 passengers, making it the manufacturer’s second-largest model behind the 747 jumbo-jet.
Airbus Chief Operating Officer John Leahy said July 17 that he aims during the air show to double the 131 orders received so far this year. Airbus has already announced orders for 122 planes in the first day at the air show.
Boeing’s commercial-plane chief, Jim Albaugh, predicted “quite a number” of orders at the show this week.
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