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Emirates 787-10
Emirates Airline says it is ordering 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners. (Emirates Airline Photo)

The Boeing Co. and Emirates Airline wowed the 2017 Dubai Airshow today with a commitment for the purchase of 40 787-10 Dreamliners, valued at $15.1 billion at current list prices.

The planes will be delivered starting in 2022, said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group.

Observers said the orders came as a surprise, especially considering that Airbus has been negotiating with Emirates for a large order of jets.

The Associated Press quoted Sheikh Ahmed as saying the 787 was “the best option … given its maintenance and so on.” Emirates may still announce an order for Airbus’ larger A380 jets later in the week.

Both Boeing and Emirates emphasized the impact of today’s deal on U.S. employment, which has been a key theme for the Trump administration.

“This is a long-term commitment that supports hundreds of thousands of jobs, not only at Boeing but also throughout the aviation supply chain,” Sheikh Ahmed said.

Boeing cited a Department of Commerce formula for employment impact that suggests the $15.1 billion deal would support more than 75,000 direct and indirect U.S. jobs.

Today Boeing also announced an order from Azerbaijan Airlines for five 787-8 Dreamliners, plus a commitment to purchase two large freighters and participate in Boeing’s 787 landing gear exchange program. The Azerbaijan deal carries a list-price value of about $1.9 billion.

Emirates, meanwhile, used the air show as an opportunity to highlight its move toward enclosed first-class suites in its Boeing 777 fleet:

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