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Emirates announces $16 billion order for 50 Airbus A350 planes

An Airbus A350 takes off at the aircraft builder's headquarters in Colomiers near Toulouse

DUBAI (Reuters) - Dubai state-owned airline Emirates said on Monday it had placed a firm order for 50 Airbus <AIR.PA> A350 jets worth $16 billion at list prices.

"Together with the A380, the A350 will give us more capacity and flexibility. We will be able to expand to new markets with these aircraft," Emirates Chief Executive Officer Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said at the Dubai Airshow.

The deal signed at the show marked a final and amended version of a tentative deal for 40 A330neo aircraft and 30 A350 jets, which has been pending since the start of the year.

"The new aircrafts are less noisy and provide us with a lower carbon footprint," Al Maktoum said, adding that he expected the first A350 jets' delivery in 2023.

The world's top jetmakers have been trying to win final approval for more than $30 billion in orders from Emirates on ice for up to two years as the airline complains about manufacturing delays and performance issues.

Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury said: "This order is a very strong endorsement of the A350 planes with the latest technology."

Emirates, however, said it was no longer considering the A330neo at this stage.

Faury said: "I don't know what it means for A330 for Emirates. But the A330 remains relevant for others. Customers from different regions are supportive of new orders for this aircraft."

Emirates said it was still in negotiations with Boeing <BA.N> on the fate of a provisional order for 40 of the U.S. planemaker's 787 Dreamliners.


(Reporting by Tim Hepher and Ankit Ajmera; Writing by Tuqa Khalid; Editing by Louise Heavens and Andrew Cawthorne)