Boeing [NYSE; BA] and Emirates officials, led by the airline's Chairman H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum and Boeing Commercial Airplanes Chief Executive Alan Mulally, on Friday celebrated delivery of the airline's first two Boeing 777-300ER airplanes.
The Dubai-based airline will receive 10 777-300ERs this year, with four coming from International Lease Finance Corp (ILFC) and six from General Electric Commercial Aviation Service (GECAS). The airline currently operates 21 Boeing 777s and plans to increase its fleet through lease and direct purchases to 51 by late 2007, making it one of the world's largest 777 operators.
"We believe the 777-300ER provides an economically sound option for carrying even more passengers greater distances, and the trust we have in the 777 family and the airplanes' proven performance and reliability is only enhanced by our passengers' appreciation for its interior roominess," said Sheikh Ahmed.
Sheikh Ahmed added that "the revenue capability from both cargo and passengers weighed heavily in our decision to purchase the 777-300ER and we also are taking advantage of new electronic technologies offered by Boeing on these new 777s."
The Emirates 777-300ERs are the first equipped with the Boeing Electronic Flight Bag; the only fully integrated and certified Class 3 EFB in commercial service. The EFB replaces the large amount of paper crews now carry for flights, placing all required data in digital format at the pilot's fingertips.
Emirates is the largest EFB customer with 30 units on order. Its airplanes are also the first commercial jets equipped with Boeing's Terminal Wireless technology, allowing a two-way broadband data connection with the airport gate from touchdown to takeoff.
Emirates will use the 777-300ER to provide extra capacity on existing routes and to serve new destinations planned. The airline currently serves 78 destinations worldwide and is implementing an aggressive plan for future growth.
Emirates and Boeing worked together on the development of an innovative LED mood-lighting system, including a tranquil "starry night sky" viewed on the cabin ceiling that helps ease passengers to sleep.
The Boeing 777 family of airplanes is the world's most advanced and continues to evolve with the recent addition of the world's longest range airliner, the 777-200LR Worldliner, and the Boeing 777 Freighter. To date, more than 35 airlines have placed orders for more than 680 777s, making it the most preferred airplane in its class.