Reports that Emirates Airline was poised to sign a $30 billion 100-jet deal with Boeing drew a swift refusal to comment from the carrier on Monday.
"We do not comment on speculation," an Emirates Airline spokesperson told CNBC when asked about the story in the Financial Times.
The FT cited the firm's chief executive officer, Tim Clark, as confirming advanced negotiations for the Boeing 777X, but only "a source familiar with the discussions" on details of the deal. According to the newspaper, the final number could be between 100 and 175, with 100 "more likely". More long-range Airbus planes were also being considered, while amendments to an existing order of Airbus A350s remained an option.
A $30 billion order would be the largest passenger jet order in Boeing's history, topping the previous record of $22.4 billion with Lion Air in 2012. The Boeing 777X will be an upgrade to the popular 777, building on the industry trend of more fuel-efficient engines. It would gradually replace the Dubai carrier's existing 777 fleet from 2020 onwards.
Emirates Airline is already the world's largest operator of the Boeing 777 and the Airbus A380. The airline is expected to make a major announcement at the upcoming Dubai Airshow, especially since the event is being held at the new Al Maktoum International Airport. Analysts also expect Etihad Airways of neighboring Abu Dhabi, the flag-carrier of the United Arab Emirates, to also announce an order soon — November 12 marks the 10th anniversary of the airline's maiden flight.