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Emirates says buying Chinese aircraft a possible future option

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-04-26 10:07

DUBAI — Emirates Airline said Tuesday that buying planes produced in other countries or regions than the United States or the European Union could be an option, depending on market conditions.

Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman of Dubai's state-owned carrier Emirates Airline, made the remarks following the first public tests of China's first homemade large passenger jet C919 this week.

In a media round table at the ongoing hospitality fair Arabian Travel Market, Sheikh Ahmed replied on request by Xinhua if he could imagine buying aircraft made in China, "I would never say we are buying this or that because it was made in Europe or in America, but we look at what is the best in the industry," he said.

He added "our criteria are comfort for the passengers, the plane's performance, the fuel consumption and of course the technical support once the plane comes into service. It is the whole package."

Since last Sunday, China's C919 started successfully conducting nose wheel liftoffs during high-speed taxi tests, deemed ready for its upcoming maiden flight.

Emirates Airlines, the world's biggest operator of the Airbus A380 superjumbo (94 units in service), currently flies with 244 passenger jets and 15 freighter aircraft made by the European aircraft producer Airbus and Boeing from Seattle, United States.

The Middle East's biggest carrier has another 219 planes worth $108 billion, all made out of Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 planes.

Emirates flies to five destinations in China, "we are looking at the Chinese market to expand our operations there as we are convinced of China's growth prospects in relation to passenger demand," said Sheikh Ahmed.

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