Is Emirates playing a game of musical chairs with its fleet? Rumors are swirling that the Dubai-based carrier is planning to amend or cancel its outstanding aircraft orders. You might remember that Emirates placed an order for a total of 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners back in 2017.
Those planes were scheduled to be delivered starting at some point in 2022. Emirates had hoped that the 787 would help the airline to introduce new routes. The planes were going to be configured to hold between 240 and 330 passengers in three separate cabin classes. What went wrong? Emirates is taking a slightly different view as it looks forward at market demands.
Emirates was in the middle of expanding routes when it ordered 40 new 787-10 aircraft back in 2017. The choice made sense back then because Emirates was looking for cabins with lower seating capacity. While the 787-10 is considered to be a large aircraft, it is actually much smaller than the other models in the Emirates fleet. Emirates planned to use the 787-10 on smaller routes that didn’t require 350 seats or more. However, it appears that the Gulf-based carrier now thinks that the 777X aircraft might be a better fit.
Emirates is supposedly planning to cancel its order of 40 Boeing 787-10 planes in favor of 20 777X planes. It is believed that this will be done as a way to create a replacement cycle for the 777-200 and 777-300 planes that are currently flown by Emirates. There are even whispers that Emirates plans to use the new planes to replace A380 planes on some routes. There are also rumors that Emirates plans to cut an existing A380 order.
The A380 has fallen out of favor in recent years due to its high cost of operation. While passengers love the spacious interior of the A380, airlines would prefer to focus on finding ways to pack in more seats and lower fuel costs at the same time. However, the public is only looking at speculation at the moment regarding what moves Emirates will make in shaping its fleet. Emirates isn’t answering any questions about potential changes to aircraft orders at the moment.
What does the big shakeup regarding aircraft orders tell us about what Emirates has planned for the foreseeable future? It looks like Emirates probably isn’t too focused on expansion at the moment. It’s fair to say that the carrier’s decision to add fewer new aircraft to its fleet than anticipated means that any plans to expand capacity to new cities are probably off the table for now.