By Mauro Orru 
 

Emirates Airline placed an order worth $6 billion for 15 additional Airbus A350-900 jets, part of plans from the state-run airline to bolster its fleet of wide-body planes and serve a range of new markets on long-haul flights amid growing demand for international travel.

The companies announced the order on Thursday at the Dubai Airshow, where Emirates earlier this week ordered 95 wide-body jets from Boeing for $52 billion. The companies didn't disclose financial details, but buyers typically receive steep discounts in such orders.

The latest order for Airbus jets lifts Emirates' total A350 order book to 65 aircraft. The first A350 is expected to join its fleet in August next year, with deliveries stretching until early 2028.

"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," said Emirates Chief Executive Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. "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."

Airbus is seeing growing demand for its wide-body aircraft, and last week said it was aiming to produce 10 A350s a month in 2026, up from a previous target of nine at the end of 2025.

The European plane maker had slashed production of its wide-body planes early on in the coronavirus pandemic, when travel restrictions and border closures brought international traffic to a near standstill. Now, airlines are scrambling for planes to expand capacity to meet surging demand for international air travel.

Last week, the Dubai-based airline posted a surge in profit and revenue for the first half of its fiscal year after a summer marked by strong demand for international travel.

Net profit jumped to $2.6 billion for the six months to the end of September from $1.1 billion last year. Revenue climbed 19% to $16.2 billion. The airline carried 26.1 million passengers in the period, up 31% on year.

During the first half, Emirates restored operations with its fleet of Airbus A380s to Bali, Beijing, Birmingham, Casablanca, Nice, Shanghai and Taiwan. By the end of September, the airline was operating passenger and cargo services to 144 airports, leveraging its entire fleet of A380s and Boeing 777s.

Emirates competes with the likes of Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways in the region for connecting passengers on routes to North America, China, Japan and South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

 

Write to Mauro Orru at mauro.orru@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 16, 2023 06:08 ET (11:08 GMT)

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