Emirates revealed on Thursday that it had placed a $6 billion order for 15 more Airbus A350-900s at the Dubai Airshow 2023.
Emirates now has 65 units total in its A350 order book.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group said: “The A350-900s will add to our fleet mix and we are pleased to announce additional orders for this aircraft type.
We plan to deploy our A350s to serve a range of new markets, including long-haul missions of up to 15 hours flying time from Dubai. We will work closely with Airbus and Rolls-Royce to ensure our aircraft deliver the best possible operating efficiency and flying experience for our customers.”
“Emirates’ orders this week are all carefully planned to support our future growth and the Dubai economic vision set out by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The Emirates experience is often the first visitor experience in Dubai, and we want it to be the best.”
Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International said: “With this agreement, we mark another solid step forward in the long-standing relationship agreement between Emirates and Airbus. A relationship founded on a pursuit of innovation, efficiency, and operational excellence. Just as the A380 established itself at the heart of Emirates operations, we are equally proud of what the A350 will do in the years to come.”
With the additional orders placed, Emirates will continue to receive A350 deliveries until early 2028. The first A350 is expected to join the airline’s fleet in August 2024.
Emirates will have 310 wide-body aircraft in its order book overall after adding its Monday order for 95 more Boeing aircraft. Its fleet currently consists of 260 aircraft.
Additionally, Emirates and Boeing inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to take advantage of cutting-edge digital technologies and quicken maintenance operations improvements.
The main areas of focus will be drone-assisted aircraft inspections, next-generation prognostic and predictive maintenance, and the use of virtual and augmented reality to improve the accuracy and efficiency of maintenance tasks.
Ahmed Safa, divisional senior vice-president, of Emirates Engineering, said: “Our partnership with Boeing will enable us to maximize the benefits of advanced technologies and digital excellence to improve operational reliability, minimize disruptions and ensure our fleet operates at the highest standards, ultimately providing our customers a better travel experience.
Whether its drones conducting inspections with meticulous agility or AR visualizations that help engineers see behind panels or inside ducts to locate potentially defective components not visible to the naked eye, without having to dismantle them, we’re taking significant steps to optimize aircraft maintenance to its full potential on our fleet of Boeing 777s.”
“Supporting our customers on their digital transformation journey is about more than just enhancing maintenance operations,” Brad Surak, vice president of digital aviation solutions at Boeing Global Services, said. “It’s about applying innovation to ensure their needs for optimum operations are met today and in the long term.”
The airline has made significant progress with the integration of drone technology for maintenance tasks. This has allowed for the acceleration of exterior inspections on wide-body aircraft, which use ultra-high-resolution cameras that can view the aircraft from every angle to identify surface imperfections.
The gathered data and imagery serve as the foundation for incredibly thorough reports that enable far greater precision and support audits of upcoming inspections.
With mixed reality and visual tools for augmented and virtual reality, engineers can explore the inner workings of any part of an aircraft as well as other intricate details. These technologies have the potential to optimize fleet availability and performance by delivering more thorough and accurate aircraft inspections, lowering the possibility of human error, and drastically reducing the amount of time aircraft are out of service.
Emirates is able to make better-informed fleet maintenance decisions thanks to Boeing’s next-generation prognostic and predictive maintenance technology, which makes use of sophisticated analytics and prognostic insights.
Emirates Engineering, one of the most technologically sophisticated aircraft maintenance facilities in the world, serves the largest fleet of Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 aircraft worldwide.
The team is responsible for supervising and carrying out all aspects of engineering, quality control, planning, logistics, and maintenance. With its twelve hangars, the facility spans 400,000 square meters and is the largest free-spanned structure in the Middle East.