Emirates is finalising an order for either the Airbus A350 or Boeing 787 but does not expect to be in a position to complete a deal in time for July's Farnborough air show.
The evaluation has now been running for some two years, and airline boss Tim Clark says he's "still at it", adding that "we haven't made a decision" and that he doesn't expect one by Farnborough.
Clark says the performance offered by the new-generation widebody twinjets "gives whoever has them great potential".
He adds: "I'm very impressed with what they have managed to do with these aircraft. It gives the industry the tool to serve the markets in a very incisive manner and at a very, very good set of trip economics." However, Clark declined to specify which type would be chosen or the size of the expected order.
The evaluation includes the 787-9 along with the larger but shorter-range 787-10, which Clark describes as "a 10h capable" aircraft. The focus of the Airbus evaluation is on the A350-900 rather than the larger -1000 or proposed "-2000" stretch, which Clark refers to as the "A350-1000-ish" as its design specification is still "a moveable feast".