Emirates’ chief commercial officer said on Tuesday that the airline will refurbish more of its existing fleet than previously planned, as the carrier confronts delays in the delivery of new Boeing jets and seeks reassurance over worries about the Airbus A350s it ordered.
The Gulf carrier is investing more than $1 billion in its fleet, including the installation of a new premium economy cabin.
Emirates CEO Adnan Kazim told reporters in Dubai that the airline would now renovate 120 aircraft from its existing A380 and 777 fleet, up from the 105 previously stated.
67 A380s will be retrofitted, up from 52 previously planned, but the 53 repaired 777s will remain the same.
Emirates had always planned to renovate some of its older planes, but Kazim said the airline will now fly more older planes for extended periods of time as a ‘stop gap’ due to delivery delays.
He said Emirates was still in talks with Boeing about the 777x program’s delays, but he didn’t elaborate. Emirates has announced that the first 777x will be delivered in 2025, five years later than originally planned.
It is also scheduled to start receiving 787 Dreamliners, though Boeing has delayed deliveries to customers for months over structural flaws.