The airline from Dubai expects the Boeing 787 to be delayed for years. Emirates is therefore flirting with increasing its Airbus order – and is also eyeing the A350-1000.
At the end of April, Tim Clark let the order for the Boeing 787 wobble for the first time. With a view to the delays in the Dreamliner, the Emirates President said: “We are reviewing the entire situation and will see whether the 787 has a place in the fleet or not.”
In an interview with journalists on the sidelines of the ILA in Berlin, Clark now explains: “According to the contract, we would receive our first Boeing 787 next May, i.e. in eleven months. I don’t think we will get them until 2025 or 2026.” It’s too late for Emirates. Especially since the larger Boeing 777-9, which the airline also ordered, is also delayed.
More Airbus A350 instead of Boeing 787-9?
When asked about alternatives to the 30 787-9s on order, the Emirates President replies: “Maybe even more Airbus A350s.” These could be delivered faster and close the gap the golf airline fears between 2024 and 2027.
Emirates has already ordered 50 Airbus A350-900s and, according to Clark, expects them “hopefully from August or September 2024”. This is also a delay of a little more than a year. Deliveries should be made faster. “Actually, it should have come within three and a half years, now you’re trying to do it in just two years.” However, there are currently problems with cabin suppliers, for example with seats and monitors.
A350-1000 interesting – on one condition
Clark is also not ruling out the move to the larger variant of the A350. “We will also look at the A350-1000, but the Rolls-Royce engines have problems,” said the Emirates President. “If Rolls produces engines that stay on the wing for at least 2,000 to 3,000 cycles, we’ll look at it seriously.”
Regarding the criticism that Qatar Airways has of the surface coating of the A350, Clark said of Airbus: “You admit that there is a problem.” But you don’t see a safety problem, otherwise you wouldn’t buy the model from Emirates. You’ve had a series of presentations with the manufacturer about “what you’re planning to do to fix the problem.”