Emirates (EK, Dubai Int'l) has rejected online media reports that it is in early talks with Boeing (BOE, Washington National) concerning a possible order for the manufacturer's slow-selling B747-8. Last week, Boeing's SVP Global Sales & Marketing, John Wojick, was quoted as saying the Emirati carrier's need for improved fuel burn efficiency has thrown the B747-8 a much needed lifeline.

“We’re talking to anybody who has the size and capacity requirement, and obviously Tim [Clark, Emirates president] is someone who fits into that category," he told Bloomberg newswire. “We’d love to be able to get the airplane into Emirates.”

Despite operating the world's largest fleet of rival A380-800s and Boeing's other long-haul offering, the B777-300(ER), Emirates has never operated a passenger version of the B747.

However, during the recent IATA Annual General Meeting in Doha, Clark outright rejected the reports instead reaffirming his airline's commitment to the Airbus (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) A380 programme and its rumoured A380neo variant.

"If they don’t produce it [A380neo] we will take it under the old version. There is nothing out there that resembles what the A380 can do," Clark said. “There’s a distinct possibility that the A380neo, if built, would give us an improvement in economics of up to 10-12% so that is definitely worth having. And I’m hoping to move on that fairly soon.”

Analysts had speculated that an Emirates B747-8 order could be used to leverage more improvements from Airbus (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) concerning its A380neo programme.