x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Emirates seeks new Boeing 777

But the airline is no longer considering Boeing's new stretch version of the 747, the -8 Intercontinental, according to its chief executive, Tim Clark.

Emirates Airline is asking for a new version of the popular 777 passenger aircraft from Boeing as it seeks to maximise revenues on ultra long-haul flights from Dubai to the US West Coast. But the airline is no longer considering Boeing's new stretch version of the 747, the -8 Intercontinental, according to its chief executive, Tim Clark. "We've been in dialogue with Boeing for almost four years about this, but recently we felt that the impetus from Boeing to improve the 777 extended range had slowed," Mr Clark said yesterday. "We continue to remind them that we want an improvement to the extended range per se, or a new aeroplane."

The airline currently operates a Boeing 777-200 Extended Range version with seats for 266 passengers on its direct services from Dubai to San Francisco and Los Angeles. It has said in the past it was considering a much larger aircraft to satisfy high demand, including the 500-seat Airbus A380 or Boeing's new 747-8, which can carry 467 passengers. While cargo airlines have signed contracts for the 747, only Lufthansa has logged orders for the passenger version.

"With the A380 as it is today, and as popular as it is today, why would you go back to the 747?" Mr Clark told Flight International magazine this month. Now, Emirates is reviewing its push for Boeing to redevelop the 777. In June, Mr Clark said he was only mildly interested in a proposal by Boeing to add a larger wing on the 777 and other modifications, saying he instead preferred a new design. "Boeing knows we're very keen," Mr Clark said.

igale@thenational.ae -with agencies