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.
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.
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.
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!