Boeing Wins $18-Billion Jet Contract

Emirates order for up to 70 777s is the largest-ever booking by one airline customer

Boeing Co. has recorded its largest contract ever from a single commercial airline – an order for 50 Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range) jets from Dubai-based Emirates Airline. The contract is valued at $18 billion, and also includes options for 20 more of the twin-aisle commercial jets that would add another $8 billion.

The aircraft builder said that 2011 is the strongest year for sales in the history of its 777 program, bringing the current total to 182 new orders, well ahead of the previous record, 154 orders for 777s in 2005.

"This is an extremely proud moment for us as it not only underscores Emirates' ongoing confidence in the 777 but also makes this the single largest order by dollar value in Boeing's history," stated Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Jim Albaugh. "As the largest operator of the 777 in the world, Emirates has played an important role in development of the airplane and its input over the years has been invaluable in the development of the 777 program."

The 777 is a long-range, twin-engine wide-body jet that Boeing introduced in 1994, and more than 950 have been built as of August. Boeing developed the 777 as cost-effective replacement for 747s, 767s, and other older wide-body jets.

The 777-300ER is the best selling variant of the Boeing’s best-selling jet, with 290 delivered and 225 on order. It was designed for extended range and payload capacity, including engine efficiency improvements and design changes to reduce drag and airplane weight.

Emirates Airlines has 94 777s in service via purchase or lease, and it has unfilled orders for 41 more.

"We have an ambitious and strategic plan to continue growing our international network and especially increasing our long-haul, non-stop routes,” stated Emirates Airline chairman and CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. “This order supports our fleet expansion and reiterates our commitment to operating a modern fleet for the benefit of our passengers and to ensure operational efficiency as well."

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