AFP - Sunday, August 31DUBAI (AFP) - - Dubai's Emirates airline on Saturday took delivery of two long-range Boeings, a 777-200LR and 777-300ER, bringing the carrier's all wide-bodied passenger fleet to 111 aircraft.
Costing more than 500 million dollars, the two new airliners will be used on routes to and from north and south America, the United Arab Emirates' WAM news agency reported.
It quoted Emirates group chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum as calling the 777 "the mainstay of our ultra long-range operations."
The carrier has 63 Boeing 777s, and is set to become the world's largest 777 operator with another 39 of the airliners on order, worth 10.1 billion dollars at list prices.
Emirates is also the biggest customer for the huge European Airbus A380 manufactured by Boeing's main rival, with 58 firm orders for the A380 out of a total of 198 placed with manufacturer EADS.
In July, Emirates received the first of its 58 Airbus 380s on order, and earlier on Saturday an Emirates spokeswoman said delivery of the second may be delayed by several weeks.
Airbus did not confirm the delay, which was first reported in the French daily Le Figaro. A spokesman for the aircraft manufacturer told AFP it is "in discussions with Emirates to determine a delivery date" for the second A380.
The Middle East's biggest airline put its first giant A380 into service on August 1 with a direct flight from Dubai to New York.
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The August 7 issue of the Financial Times reported Hong Kong based Cathay Pacific slipping into its first interim loss since 2003. For the first six months of 2008 Cathay, Asia's third largest carrier by market value incurred a net loss of HK$633 million (US$85 million) compared with a profit of HK$2.5 billion a year ago.