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Why Emirates Is Always Buying New Airplanes

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER
Emirates Boeing 777-300ERPhotograph by Simon Davison/Getty Images

Another big air show, another massive airplane order from Emirates—possibly $30 billion for more long-range planes, according to media reports. With the Dubai Air Show less than a month away, and in Emirates’s backyard no less, the company is poised to place what’s expected to be a record-setting order for Boeing for new long-range airplanes.

“The scale of what we are contemplating is enormous,” Emirates President Tim Clark told Bloomberg News; the company may order as many as 175 of Boeing’s new 777Xs to replace older 777s in its fleet. Most analysts expect Boeing to formally unveil the 777X at the Dubai show, which begins Nov. 17. Last month, Lufthansa ordered 34 of the new planes, which are designed to be 20 percent more fuel-efficient than current 777 models. The first 777X is expected to be delivered in 2020.