The deal is valued at more than $15 billion at current list prices, according to Boeing.
Boeing S.C. builds the 787-10, the largest member of the Dreamliner family, in North Charleston. The aerospace company expects the first 787-10 to enter service in the first half of 2018. Boeing has more than 210 orders and commitments overall for the 787-10 so far.
“Emirates has displayed immense confidence in the South Carolina-built 787-10s and has seen the maturation of the airplane during testing as well,” said Saj Ahmad, chief analyst with StrategicAero Research, in an email. “Coupled with Boeing’s rate hike to 14 airplanes a month, this is not the only sizeable 787 [order] we’ll see. There are others almost certainly ready to be revealed if they aren’t in the bag already.”
The 787 facilities in Everett and North Charleston will produce 14 Dreamliners per month by 2019, up from the current rate of 12.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Kevin McAllister said the Emirates order will create potentially thousands of jobs in the U.S.
The airline’s 787-10 commitment comes about a month after UAE Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba visited Boeing’s North Charleston campus to tour the facilities and a 787-10 test plane.
During his visit, Otaiba spoke to packed room of Charleston-area business leaders and state politicians, promoting the nearly 20-year-old Open Skies Agreement between the U.S. and UAE.
Proponents of the agreement have said it strengthens passenger and cargo airline operations in each other’s markets by allowing unobstructed access. Opponents have said it unfairly benefits government-backed UAE airlines, putting U.S. airlines at a disadvantage.
Otaiba said the trade agreement delivers “huge value and benefits to both countries.”
“It benefits millions of flyers, it supports hundreds of thousands of jobs. …
Attempts to roll back Open Skies will only hurt communities like Charleston and employees like those at Boeing and its suppliers across the U.S. and world,” he said in North Charleston. “Flyers will also have fewer choices and less convenience.”
Dreamliner orders during Dubai Air Show
Emirates said it expects the 40 dash-10s will replace some of the aging planes in its fleet, as well help expand routes. The 787-10 design enables long-haul routes and better fuel efficiency.
“Essentially the 787s allow Emirates to mix its operations,” Ahmad said. “It can configure the jet densely with 300-plus passengers so that they can be deployed regionally, or instead flown long haul with slightly less capacity.”
The latest order expands Emirates’ fleet of Boeing aircraft; the airline is the world’s largest Boeing 777 operator.
Azerbaijan Airlines said during the show it plans to order five more 787-8 Dreamliners. The airline flies to 40 destinations in 25 countries.
“Ordering additional 787 Dreamliner airplanes will greatly expand our airline’s capabilities, allowing us to serve new destinations and carry more passengers,” AZAL President Jahangir Askerov said in a news release.