Air Arabia Is Likely To Place A Huge Aircraft Order In Dubai

Air Arabia could be on the verge of a huge order for as many as 100 aircraft. The airline held talks with both Airbus and Boeing around half a year ago. As such, the airline is expected by some to place its aircraft order at the Dubai Air Show.

The Middle Eastern LCC could be on the verge of a huge order. Photo: Air Arabia

Here at the Simple Flying team, we love air shows for a variety of reasons. While the flying displays of aircraft on show are always a highlight, it’s hard not to follow the many orders which are announced at press conferences held by Airbus, Boeing, and others.

Airbus or Boeing?

Both Airbus and Boeing are reportedly in the run to be picked by Air Arabia according to Bloomberg. The airline is reportedly looking to order 100 aircraft from one of the two aerospace manufacturing giants. This would almost certainly be for the Boeing 737, or the Airbus A320 family. Indeed, both aircraft have their pros and cons for the airline.

Let us first look at Airbus. Airbus has the advantage that the A320 already makes up the entirety of Air Arabia’s fleet. As such, if Air Arabia were to purchase more Airbus A320s, they could slot right into the existing fleet with little trouble.

But what about Boeing, I hear you asking! Well by ordering the Boeing 737, Air Arabia would need to introduce a new aircraft into its fleet. This would mean new or retrained pilots and engineers etc… However, the Boeing 737 MAX is currently in somewhat of a PR crisis. Following two fatal accidents earlier this year, the type was grounded.

Reports suggest that both Airbus and Boeing are still in the running. Photo: Boeing.

The Boeing 737 MAX’s grounding has now gone one for over half of a year. IAG signed a letter of intent to purchase 200 of the 737 MAX, likely with a hefty discount. Ordering 100 aircraft, it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that Air Arabia could choose this option.

A Dubai announcement?

According to unnamed sources, talks are still ongoing with both Airbus and Boeing still in the running to secure the order. Earlier this month, Air Arabia announced plans to launch a low-cost carrier with Abu Dhabi giant, Etihad Airways. Air Arabia’s aircraft could also potentially be used in this venture.

Any potential order could be announced at the Dubai Airshow later this month. Photo: Air Arabia

While no firm news has been announced, some have suggested that we could see an order placed at the Dubai Airshow. Airshows typically see a flurry of orders announced and as such, this wouldn’t be out of the ordinary.

Simple Flying will be on hand at the Dubai Airshow to report on the latest developments.

Do you think Air Arabia will pick Airbus or Boeing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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I hate to sound cynical about it – but will the capabilities and delivery waiting times of the respective aircraft in question be nearly as important as what under-the-table deals are done behind the scenes? I mean – Boeing will want that order desperately to show that airlines still have faith in their plane. Securing that large an order will be worth its weight in gold as far as PR purposes are concerned. The discounts they’ll be prepared to offer will be significant. And which is the more important trading partner or government to butter-up just now? Is it more… Read more »


Do we know if and when the MAX will RTS?
Will the flying public have confident in the MAX again?
What is there is one more incident with MAX say …. a couplte of years after RTS. Then what?
IMHO ordering the MAX is risky at best.


Boeing were also in the running for the recent (huge) IndiGo order, but IndiGo unsurprisingly picked Airbus. The situation at Air Arabia will be similar, I suspect…especially seeing as Air Arabia already have a substantial Airbus fleet. Even if Boeing were giving the MAXs away for a dollar per plane, who’d want a grounded plane that has no definitive return-to-service timeline and that is still at the center of a huge controversy (Congressional hearings, lawsuits, possible/probable certification issues outside the US,…). Moreover, we know now that Boeing is offering very mean baseline compensation for airlines affected by the MAX groundings… Read more »


Long term STRATEGIE would be 50% AIRBUS and 30% BOEING with an open 20% choice
Total cost shoud be 95%of any agreed 100% single choice A or B


How about a combination–or going with Sukhoi or Mitsubishi? Stranger things have happened in regards to aircraft orders.