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Boeing delays cost Emirates $3bn

Emirates Boeing delays 777X Boeing
Emirates is still waiting for 205 777X jets, which were due to be delivered four years ago
  • Refurbishments needed for 191 planes
  • Still no delivery date
  • ‘Material damage’ to Emirates

Delays in delivering new orders by the US aircraft maker Boeing have cost Emirates $3 billion, the airline’s president Tim Clark has revealed.

Emirates has an order for 205 777X jets, which were due to be delivered four years ago. The plane has been delayed by problems including hold-ups in certification.

As it waits for Boeing’s jets to arrive, the Dubai-based flag carrier has had to pay for a massive cabin refurbishment programme on 191 of its existing planes, 110 A380 aircraft and 81 Boeing 777s.



Emirates took the decision to refurbish part of its existing fleet “when it was clear to us that Boeing was having difficulties again,” Clark said at the World Air Transport Summit in Dubai.

So far 22 A380 aircraft have undergone retrofitting. The first Boeing 777 will have an interior refresh in July.

In February the Federal Aviation Administration said Boeing must make “profound improvements” and address quality issues after a panel blew out of a 737 Max 9 aircraft. The issue was believed to have been caused by missing bolts.

A previous crisis over two fatal crashes resulted in the jet maker’s Max being grounded in 2019 for 20 months.

In November 2023 Emirates announced a $52 billion order for 90 new Boeing 777X aircraft. The order was made up of 55 777-9 planes, due to be delivered in 2025, and 35 777-8s, with a delivery date of 2030.

Clark said the delays were “doing material damage” to the way the company does business.

He was reported as saying this week that Emirates was seeking compensation from Boeing for delays in the delivery of the aircraft.

“We’ve got a business to run and if we have to foot the bill for refurbishing all these planes, it should be put at Boeing’s door,” Clark told Reuters.

Emirates last month reported annual revenues of $33 billion and a net profit of $4.7 billion. 

Clark has also criticised France’s Airbus over its Rolls Royce engines, although the airline ordered 15 Trent XWB-84 powered A350-900 aircraft in December last year.

“We have a huge problem on both sides of the Atlantic,” he said.

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