Boeing has announced an order from the Dubai-based Emirates Airline for 50 Boeing 777-300ERs (extended range) plus options for an additional 20 of the popular twin-aisle commercial jetliner.
Valued at $18 billion, this is the single largest commercial airplane order by dollar value in Boeing's history. It also makes 2011 the best-selling year for the 777 program, surpassing the previous record of 154 orders set in 2005.
With the Emirates order, the 2011 net order book for the 777 currently stands at 182. The option for 20 additional aircraft is valued at $8 billion.
"The 777's reliability, performance and operating economics have firmly established it as the backbone of our fleet," said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline & Group.
"We have an ambitious and strategic plan to continue growing our international network and especially increasing our long-haul, non-stop routes. 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."
Emirates is the world's largest 777 operator with a fleet of 94 777s through direct purchase and lease, plus additional unfilled orders on backlog for 41 777-300ERs previously on order. It is also the only airline in the world to operate every model in the Boeing 777 family, including the 777 Freighter.
"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," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
"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 Boeing 777 is the world's most successful twin-engine, long-haul airplane. The 777-300ER extends the 777 family's span of capabilities, bringing twin-engine efficiency and reliability to the long-range market. The airplane carries 365 passengers up to 7,930 nautical miles (14,685 km).