Emirates – Changing More 777X Orders To The 787?

By Spyros Georgilidakis | May 19, 2021

With little information from Boeing, Emirates are thinking of changing more orders from the 777X to the 787. Or could they get more Airbuses?

They’ve done it once already. Emirates originally had 150 orders for the 777X, before changing some of them to the 787. Currently, the Gulf carrier is expecting 115 777X deliveries, plus 30 for Boeing’s 787. So no, they didn’t change those order from one Boeing to the other, one-for-one. And more worryingly for Boeing, they also ordered first 30, then a total of 50 Airbus A350s. Originally, those were going to arrive after the first 777X aircraft. Now? Who knows!

The problem for the airline is about more than just their own orders. Emirates wants to see Boeing sell more 777X jets, as they choose between it and the 787. Normally the airline wouldn’t be able to change its orders this easily. But after over three years of delays, any limitations from their side are gone. They could cancel their orders without penalty – something Boeing obviously want to avoid.


Emirates – More Than Just 777X and 787 Orders

Emirates isn’t sure about changing its orders from the 777X to the 787, because they have little information from Boeing. The airline wants the American manufacturer to share more details about the progress of the 777X. They recognize how many different things Boeing has on its plate right now (737 MAX, 787 production issues AND move, 777X, mainly) but they need some transparency for their own planning.

777X – Emirates Will Have To Be Patient
Emirates now have orders for 50 Airbus A350s

There are a few interesting “Biggest” lists that Emirates belongs to. Emirates has the biggest A380 fleet. They have the most 777X orders from Boeing. And after some changes, they now have the most Airbus A350 orders, too: 50. But Qatar and Singapore Airlines aren’t far behind, with 49 and 48 orders respectively.

As they contemplate their 777X and 787 orders, Emirates are also taking delivery of more A380s. These newer A380s are more premium-heavy than older models, as Emirates tries to maximize their earnings from them. They got another one last week, and have four more to go. That’s all of them; Airbus isn’t delivering any of these jets to anyone else. And this is something else that Emirates don’t want to see with the 777X. They’d rather see it get more popular than it currently is!

The last aircraft’s first flight. Photo: Airbus

The airline is optimistic about recovery this summer. This is important, since they are exclusively a long-haul carrier. But they also have few options in terms of fleet size: they can’t substitute smaller planes easily. So when it comes to routes where there is only partial recovery, they have some tough decisions to make. The airline’s smallest aircraft are its Boeing 777-200LRs. They only have ten of these – and 124 777-300ERs!


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