What Happened To Emirates’ Non-ER Boeing 777-300s?

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continuing to hamper passenger demand levels, Emirates is primarily flying its Boeing 777s at the moment. These twinjets presently represent a more capacity-efficient solution than its colossal Airbus A380s. The vast majority of its 777s belong to the -300ER variant, but did you know that the airline also used to operate the non-ER version of the -300? Let’s find out what happened to these planes.

Emirates Boeing 777-300
Emirates flew 12 777-300s between 1999 and 2019. Photo: Sony SLT-A57 via Flickr

The end of an era

As reported by Simple Flying at the time, 2019 marked the final non-ER Boeing 777-300 retirement at Dubai-based UAE flag carrier Emirates. This brought the curtain down on two decades of operational history with the type, which had begun back in 1999.

The retirements were part of a fleet modernization program at Emirates. Young aircraft are a key part of its ethos, and data from ch-aviation.com shows that its present planes have an average age of just 7.9 years old. The carrier stated at the time that:

In line with its ambitious fleet renewal program, Emirates is in the process of retiring the last two Boeing 777-300 classic aircraft in its fleet. A6-EMV, delivered in February 2003, has now been phased out of the Emirates fleet and A6-EMX, delivered in June 2003 will shortly also be removed from commercial service. (…) A younger fleet allows for better fuel efficiency and other related environmental benefits.”

Emirates Boeing 777-300
2002 was the busiest year for 777-300 deliveries at Emirates. Photo: Maarten Visser via Flickr

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When did they arrive?

Emirates operated a total of 12 non-ER Boeing 777-300s over the years, with data from ch-aviation showing that the first pair arrived towards the end of 1999. Specifically, A6-EMM came onboard in November that year, followed by A6-EMN the next month.

Moving into the 21st century, 777-300 deliveries dropped to just one a year in 2000 (A6-EMO) and 2001 (A6-EMP). However, 2002 represented a contrastingly busy year for Emirates in this domain. Indeed, this was its busiest year in terms of 777-300 deliveries. A total of five came onboard in a five-month spell spanning from April to September 2002.

Emirates Boeing 777-300
A6-EMX was the last of the 12 777-300s to join Emirates. Photo: Robert Underwood via Flickr

The final three 777-300s to join the Emirates fleet all did so in 2003. The first was A6-EMV in February that year, followed by A6-EMW a month later. After a three-month gap, A6-EMX completed the set when it was delivered to the Dubai-based UAE flag carrier in June 2003. All 12 were delivered brand-new, and had Rolls-Royce Trent 892 engines.

Where did they end up?

Emirates flew almost all of its 777-300s for 15 to 18 years. The only exception to this trend was A6-EMW, which had to be written off after just 13 years of service at the airline. The reason for this was the fact that the aircraft was damaged beyond repair during a landing fire in Dubai in 2016. Thankfully, all of its occupants were able to evacuate the plane.

Cathay Pacific
Several former Emirates 777-300s joined Cathay Pacific, which also operates the 777-300ER (pictured). Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Four of the remaining 11 aircraft joined Hong Kong’s flag carrier Cathay Pacific directly after leaving Emirates, with a fifth doing so via lessor AerCap. Meanwhile, AerCap was unable to find a new operator for another of the aircraft, A6-EMO, and it was broken up in Goodyear, Arizona in August 2017. Other operators of the ex-Emirates 777-300s have included Air Peace (Nigeria), Alexandria Airlines (Egypt), flyGlobal (Malaysia), and VIM Airlines (Russia).

Did you ever fly on one of Emirates’ non-ER Boeing 777-300s? Perhaps you’ve been on one of the examples that have since moved to other carriers? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.



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