MIAMI — Middle Eastern giant Emirates firmed an order for 150 Boeing 777X wide-body aircraft on Wednesday.
The order had been placed at the Dubai Air Show last year, bringing the order book for Boeing’s newest widebody aircraft to 216 orders. Last year at Dubai, as part of the official launch of the re-engined 777X program, Boeing and Emirates announced that Emirates had 150 “commitments” for the 777X, including 115 for the 777-9X and 35 for the smaller 777-8X. With Emirates’ confirmation, there are 70 outstanding commitments for the 777X yet to be firmed up (50 for Qatar Airways, and 20 for All Nippon Airways [ANA]).
Industry observers had largely expected Emirates to wait until next week’s Farnborough Air Show before firming up the orders, however Emirates moved up its timeline. Last month, Emirates cancelled its order for 70 Airbus A350s, and appears to be moving forward with a two type fleet with just the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 777. Emirates already operates 96 Boeing 777-300ERs with 54 more on order.
With the firming of Emirates’ order, we expect a quiet show for the 777X in terms of orders. Both Qatar Airways and Etihad might opt for top-up orders, and Lufthansa Group could order some jets on behalf of its subsidiaries. There’s always the possibility of an order from Turkish Airlines or an Asian carrier. But we project that short of Qatar and ANA firming, there will not be much activity.