After an unusually slow first day, Dubai Airshow certainly picked up on the second day. Headlines were mainly dominated by Airbus who nailed down $30 billion worth of deals including a large order from the Dubai-based Emirates and another significant booking from Air Arabia.
If day one was lacking in large orders, day two certainly didn’t disappoint. To start the day, Airbus announced an agreement with Emirates for an additional 20 widebody Airbus A350s. This brings the airlines total order to 50 aircraft worth $16 billion. Delivery is expected to begin in 2023.
Another big announcement from Airbus was a deal with budget airline Air Arabia who has agreed to purchase a massive 120 new A320 family aircraft worth $14 billion. Air Arabia operates from the Emirate of Sharjah and currently has a fleet of just 53 aircraft, all of which are Airbus. Airbus will begin the delivery of 73 A320neos, 27 A321neos and 20 A321 XLRs in 2024.
But it wasn’t just Airbus who had a good second day at the show. Normally Boeing does well with large orders at airshows, but has been struggling to come back from the 737 MAX situation this year.
Having said that, Boeing still secured a deal with Turkish airline SunExpress for an additional 10 737 MAX 8 aircraft. This brings the total number of aircraft in the deal to 42. Currently, the deal is worth $1.2 billion but SunExpress will undoubtedly be negotiating for a healthy discount. In a statement at the show, Jens Bischof, CEO of SunExpress said,
“We have full confidence that Boeing will deliver us a safe, reliable and efficient aircraft”.
Boeing also placed a big focus on its relationship with Abu Dhabi’s flagship carrier Etihad Airways on Monday during a presentation of the world’s most fuel-efficient long-haul airplanes. Etihad’s “Greenliner”, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, is said to be 20% more fuel-efficient than the rest of the fleet. The aircraft was revealed at the show and will begin flights from Abu Dhabi to Brussels in January 2020.
Fuel costs amount to around a quarter of an airline’s spending, so Etihad’s CEO Tony Douglas said this initiative with Boeing is “not just a box-ticking exercise,” and said that this could benefit the entire aviation industry. He continued with a statement at the unveiling saying that this “not only makes sense economically from a profit and loss account point of view but because it also directly impacts the CO2 because of the fuel burn.”
What else happened on day 2?
In another deal, Embraer has sold three E195-E2 jets to Nigeria’s Air Peace. The deal is worth $212.6 million. In a second deal, Embraer will also deliver three E190 aircraft to CIAF Leasing for $161.4 million.
But the air show isn’t just about securing big deals; airlines and manufacturers often display new concepts and technology at the show.
A highlight on day two of the show came from Lufthansa Technik. The group debuted an Airbus A220 SkyRetreat concept which would allow passengers on private jets to have views from the cockpit.
Another exciting moment from day two was a talk by Al Worden, one of just 24 people who have been to the moon, who delivered a talk live from the US pavilion. In conjunction with Lockheed Martin, the event celebrated the 50th anniversary of Apollo 12.
With the airshow now in full swing let us know below what has been your highlight so far or what are you looking forward to in the coming days?