Today Emirates, the national carrier of Dubai, announced that it will buy 42 Boeing 777s and has purchase rights on another 20. At catalog prices, Emirates will pay $9.7 billion dollars for the aircraft.

The first planes will ship in 2007, and will be 24 -300ERs, 10 -200LRs, and 8 freighters. Once all the orders are delivered, Emirates will operate a total of 51 777s – making it the worlds largest operator of the type. It also ordered the 777th 777 – the total ordered now stands at 779.

“We’re honored that Emirates’ has again chosen the 777 and will now use the entire 777 family as a cornerstone of its fleet operations,” said Alan Mulally, president and CEO of the Commercial Airplanes division, in his usual laudatory praise of the purchasing airline. “Emirates is renowned for its quality and excellence and we’re excited to see how the airline and its passengers will benefit from the superior economics, comfort and utility of the 777 models ordered today.”

On the other hand, Emirates is expected to order 50 A350s at the Dubai Air Show. More details when they become availiable.