Egyptair announced a firm order for 10 Airbus A350-900 aircraft on the second day of the Dubai Airshow to fuel its expansion plans.

Speaking at the announcement, Egyptair CEO and Chairman Yehia Zakaria said delivery of the new jets will take place between 2025 and 2027, in time for the country’s flag carrier to meet its target of 125 aircraft by 2028.

“We want to expand very fast and this is the reason why we chose A350s,” said Zakaria, while not ruling out that the airline could place a further order in future.

The planes will be powered by the Rolls-Royce XWB Trent engines, which drew criticism from Emirates President Tim Clark earlier in the day for not being able to do what the airline wants from a cycle perspective, Reuters reported.

Airbus CCO and Head of Airbus International Christian Scherer declined to comment on Clark’s remarks, while adding “it’s a perfectly fine engine”.

On day one of the Dubai Airshow, Egyptair announced it had signed a lease agreement with the Los Angeles-based Air Lease corporation for 18 new Boeing 737-8 aircraft. Deliveries are scheduled between 2025 and 2026, with the airline leasing the aircraft for at least 12 years.

“The deal will help with the expansion of our fleet, to bring in a young fleet, and allow us to expand our network further,” said Zakaria.

Over the course of 2023, EgyptAir has taken delivery of eight aircraft, including seven Airbus A321neo and one Boeing 787-9 aircraft.

(Reporting by Bindu Rai, editing by Seban Scaria)