Dubai-based Emirates may emerge as the biggest buyer at the upcoming Dubai Airshow, with the airline expected to place an order for up to 150 new Boeing 777X jets, according to reports.
The carrier, which closed deals valued at $18 billion during the previous Dubai Airshow in 2011, is rapidly expanding and replacing its fleet as it grows its network.
In the six months between April and September this year, Emirates received 10 wide-body aircraft – six Airbus A380s, three 777s and one 777 freighter, with 15 more new aircraft scheduled to be delivered before the close of the financial year ending March 31, 2014.
The airline, which recently received its 38th jumbo A380 aircraft, currently operates the world’s largest fleet of A380s and the largest fleet of Boeing 777s with an order book for 53 and 64 more of each aircraft type respectively.
Announcing the airline’s half –yearly financial results last week, Emirates chairman and CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum blamed high fuel prices and the slow global economy for reporting a flat net profit.
The airline’s net profit reached Dhs1.7 billion ($475 million) for the six months ending September 30, 2013, up only two per cent from the same period last year.
“High fuel prices, accounting for 39 per cent of our expenditures, and the unfavourable currency exchange environment continue to eat into our profits. However, we remain steadfast in our vision to be the airline of choice for international air services, and we will invest in our people and our infrastructure,” said Sheikh Ahmed.
The airline, which currently flies to 137 destinations in 77 countries, also recently announced ambitious plans to fly 70 million passengers in 2020 across six continents with over 250 aircraft.
“It will make us the largest airline on the planet by international passenger traffic,” said Emirates president Tim Clark.
The Dubai Airshow takes place between November 17-19 at the new Dubai World Central airport.