"Many people will question such a huge purchase in today's environment." I disagree, I think it's a brilliant time to be placing orders. All the manufacturers have been hearing for the past two months is cancellations, deferments, huge airlines going bust on them (Sabena and Swissair were both massive Airbus customers, Ansett were in the running for 737NGs by the dozen). The discounts must have been massive. Two other things, it's guaranteed to get massive press, even newspaper coverage (not just trade papers), because of the confidence EK - a mid east airline btw - are showing in their future. And finally I would agree with whoever (above) said this order will give the entire industry a shot in the arm, thank you Emirates.
Cwapilot is right to have a pop at Airbus for being childish about their orders vs Boeing's LoIs. It's kind of inappropriate but maybe they are used to being the outsider and miles behind (a hangover from the 70s and 80s when whitetail A300s were piling up in Toulouse and no-one was interested except Air Siam and TEA?). It's not as though Boeing (or the US President) didn't have a pop at Toulouse for subsidies, while Boeing pick up huge military orders and R&D grants. Sniping is just the nature of competitive industries / sports / friendships.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz