LONDON – Emirates has made its first move at the Dubai Air Show, in terms of aircraft acquisition, through signing for two Boeing 777 Freighters and signing a deal with Israel Aerospace Industries to convert four 777-300ERs.
The deal, valued at over $1bn, is going to be used to bolster the airline’s cargo wing, Emirates SkyCargo.
The two new freighters will be inducted into the airline in 2022, with the four 777-300ER conversions due to be completed by 2023-24.
Commenting on the news was the Emirates Airline and Group Chairman and CEO HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum who expressed the importance of cargo to his airline.
“The last two years have put the spotlight on the importance of supply chain connectivity and the availability of air cargo capacity to global communities and economies.
“Emirates plays a key role in making essential goods available to customers and consumers globally through the capacity available on our wide-body fleet, the reach of our global network, and the advanced infrastructure at our Dubai hub. “
“Today, we are delighted to announce an investment of AED 3.6 billion (US$ 1 billion) to further expand our freighter capacity. This underscores our commitment to supporting our customers’ requirements, and reflects our confidence in our future growth and status as one of the largest airline cargo carriers in the world.”
Also commenting on the news was Boeing’s Senior VP of Commercial Sales & Marketing, Ihssane Mounir who expressed honor with Emirates over this order.
“We are honored that Emirates has once again placed its confidence in the 777 Freighter as the backbone of its global network”.
“As the largest operator of 777 passenger and freighter models worldwide, Emirates’ success is a testament to the 777’s market-leading efficiency, improved sustainability, and incredible range.”
On the IAI side, each 777-300ER will take around five months to complete, hence the delivery timeslots of 2023 and 2024, which will add 10 additional pallet positions onto the aircraft, allowing for transport of more low-density cargo including e-commerce goods.
Commenting more on this side of the deal was IAI CEO & President, Boaz Levy, who went into more detail about this.
“IAI is proud to partner with the brightest minds in the region to create solutions to the global demand for cargo aircraft”.
“IAI’s Aviation Group, the world’s leader in cargo conversions, is currently converting the first B777-300ER aircraft, together with GECAS, in order to provide the most optimal solution for the rise in e-commerce.”
“Emirates’ decision to select IAI for the conversion of its passenger aircraft to cargo configuration is a testament to IAI’s professional capabilities and IAI’s longstanding international recognition in the field.”
Emirates has operated more than 27,800 flights since the COVID-19 pandemic began, transporting more than 100,000 tonnes of essential cargo in that time as well.
For IAI, this is a big deal as it can now look towards bolstering up sales portfolio and more importantly generating revenue from this.
For Boeing, it is once again more additions to the cargo side of the business, which is steadily climbing in backlog.