Emirates orders 50 Boeing 777s for $18 bn: chief

DUBAI , Nov 13, 2011 (AFP) - Emirates Airlines has ordered 50 long-range Boeing 777 passenger jets worth a combined $18 billion dollars, the Dubai-based carrier's chairman and chief executive said Sunday.

"Emirates has placed an order for an additional 50 Boeing 777-300 ER" planes, in addition to 20 Boeing 777-300ER as an option, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum told reporters at the Dubai Airshow.

"This order represents a milestone. It is the single largest dollar-value order in Boeing's history," said the head of the largest carrier in the Middle East.

Sheikh Ahmed put the total value of the firm order and options at $26 billion, adding that the latest announcement brings Emirates' orders of the long-range aircraft to 90 from 40 units.

Emirates, which is one of the worlds fastest growing carriers, last year placed an order for 30 Boeing 777 planes worth $9.1 billion at Britain's Farnborough show.

The airline is the largest single operator of the twin-engined 777 planes with 95 units in service.

Sheikh Ahmed said the new order affirms Emirates' strategy to "expand our long haul destinations and continue to excel as a world leading carrier, connecting the world to Dubai and beyond."

Emirates has a fleet of 162 wide-bodied aircraft serving 115 destinations in 67 countries.

In addition to its orders from Boeing, Emirates has 73 Airbus A380 superjumbos on order, as well as 70 Airbus A350s.

The carrier is the largest single customer of the European manufacturer's long-haul airliner A380 with a purchase list of 90 units.

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