The announcement was made by Emirates' Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum and Jim McNerney, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Boeing Company, on the opening day of Dubai 2005 - the 9th International Aerospace Exhibition.
Sheikh Ahmed and General Electric's Vice Chairman David L. Calhoun, also signed the agreement to purchase GE90-115B jet engines, the world's most powerful engines, for all the Boeing 777s included in this order by Emirates. The agreement, valued at US$2 billion, includes a 12-year service agreement with GE for maintenance and overhaul.
Sheikh Ahmed said:
"We are investing in more new aircraft to meet the escalating demand for Emirates' services from our customers across the globe. This new order will support the airline's growth plans, and enhance our fleet's range and versatility."
Emirates intends to use the 777 to extend and strengthen its routes to key cities in Europe and Asia, and operate to new markets. The 777-200LR, which recently broke the world distance record for a commercial airliner, will allow Emirates to explore new destinations including non-stop flights to cities on the U.S. West Coast.
Sheikh Ahmed added: "Global air travel demand has been resilient, with particularly strong growth in the Middle East region and Asia, where burgeoning economies have led to vigorous trade and tourism exchanges. Having an advanced and efficient fleet of aircraft will allow Emirates to tap into the opportunities presented by this environment, and allow us to continue providing customers with faster air connections and superior travel comfort.
"We have had very positive results from the 777s in our present fleet, and we look forward to receiving these new aircraft. Emirates remains committed to contributing to Dubai's development as the world's aviation hub of choice by providing world-class air travel services via our Dubai base."
Alan Mulally, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Officer said: "We are very happy that Emirates has decided to use the entire 777 family as a cornerstone for its fleet operations, and we are excited to witness how the airline will benefit from the superior economics of the 777.
"It's an honour that Emirates has once again chosen the 777, as it is renowned for providing quality and excellence, a goal Boeing shares with this extraordinary airline."
This new deal boosts Emirates current aircraft order book to 132, with a total value of US$37.4 billion, and adds to the airline's 23 Boeing 777-300ERs; 45 A380s; 20 A340-600s; and two A310Fs pending delivery.
Dubai-based Emirates is one of the world's fastest growing international airlines, and the second most profitable. Independent and financially self-sustained, Emirates operates an all wide-bodied fleet of 83 aircraft to over 75 cities in 54 countries.