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Visitors talk next to a Boeing 777X aircraft model at the Singapore Airshow Feb. 13, 2014. (Edgar Su/Reuters)
Visitors talk next to a Boeing 777X aircraft model at the Singapore Airshow Feb. 13, 2014. (Edgar Su/Reuters)

Emirates finalizes $56-billion order for 150 Boeing 777X planes Add to ...

Dubai airline Emirates finalized a $56-billion (32.73 billion pounds) order to buy 150 Boeing 777X jets on Wednesday, firming up a commitment made last year, just weeks after scrapping an order with rival plane maker Airbus.

The deal includes purchase rights for an additional 50 airplanes which, if exercised, could increase the value to about $75-billion at list prices, Boeing said in a statement.

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“With the order for 150 777Xs, Emirates now has 208 Boeing 777s pending delivery, creating and securing jobs across the supply chain,” Emirates president Tim Clark said.

The agreement comes days before the Farnborough International Airshow, traditionally an event at which billions of dollars of new plane orders are announced.

It follows the surprise cancellation in June of a $16-billion order by Emirates to buy 70 of Airbus’ A350 aircraft, which delivered a blow to the European plane maker’s newest aircraft and hit its share price.

Airbus ended the first half of the year behind its U.S. rival in orders and deliveries, but is widely expected to unveil hundreds of new orders at the Farnborough show next week.

The Emirates’ order was part of the 777X launch at the Dubai Air Show in November last year, one of the largest product launches in commercial jetliner history. Along with Emirates, Gulf carriers Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways also announced deals for the plane, totalling $100-billion at list prices.

Emirates, which is the world’s largest operator of the Boeing 777 jet, was close to finalizing the order, Reuters reported last week.

Emirates and Qatar Airways, which also ordered 50 777X jets, had jointly negotiated the deal at the Dubai Air Show. However, it was not clear whether the Doha airline had finalized its order yet.

Qatar Airways could not be immediately reached for a comment.

Emirates and Qatar Airways are part of a trio of Gulf carriers, alongside Abu Dhabi’s Etihad, that have secured large fleets of wide-body jets to support the growth of new hubs.

The 777X is the latest version of Boeing’s best-selling wide-body jet, a so-called mini-jumbo, which carries a list price of up to $320-million.

The current versions are capable of seating up to 550 passengers in a single-class configuration, according to Boeing. In a more typical three-class configuration, the jet family seats up to 386 passengers and has a range of up to 9,395 nautical miles.

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