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Dubai Airshow picks up pace after slow start

The Dubai Airshow kicked off on Sunday (November 8) but as no major deals were made during day one of the event, the industry was left hoping that day two would deliver the goods.   Taking place at Dubai World Central’s airport, the airshow is home to leading OEMs, aviation experts, innovators and suppliers over the course of five-days and is characteristically a breeding ground for million-dollar deals.

But as many large airlines have already placed big orders this year, there’s a lack of ground breaking deals to talk about. However, it was always going to be hard to wow this time around when day one of the last Dubai Airshow saw a staggering $162bn worth of deals being signed.

Of course, the main deals that the industry wants to hear about are the orders placed by Gulf carriers, including the likes of Emirates, Qatar and Etihad, for brand new shiny models such as the 737 MAX.

But as day one ended there was little to feed the appetite of the hungry aviation experts and enthusiasts.

However, yesterday (November 9) showed more promise with day two delivering the eagerly awaited news of deals and 10-figure contacts.

One of the biggest came from Indian carrier, Jet Airways which confirmed its largest-ever fleet order of 75 737 MAX aircraft. The deal worth approximately $8bn cements the 20-year-strong relationship between the airline and Boeing. 

And it will allow the carrier to better serve the growing demands of the region, especially as India’s domestic market is predicted to grow to “around 140 million passengers in the next ten years”, according to the Dubai Airshow.

Commenting on the deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Ray Conner said: “These aircraft are the tool with which Jet Airways will compete in a very dynamic market and the 737 Max, we believe, is the right aircraft to enable them to do that.”

Another deal announced yesterday was an agreement between Emirates and GE Aviation, worth $16bn, for an OnPointSM solution contract.

This contract will cover the maintenance of the airline’s GE9X-powered 777X fleet and was soon followed by a $36m 12-year deal between the two organisations for the maintenance and inventory support for various avionics, electrical power and mechanical systems on the airline’s 777 aircraft.

Meanwhile, another billion-dollar deal was announced between Etihad and Mubadala as the pair signed a 10-year Memorandum of Understanding worth an estimated $1bn. The agreement will see Etihad appoint Mubadala’s SR Technics as its preferred service provider.

So as day two stepped it up a gear, there is certainly a good level of excitement surrounding the airshow. Let’s see what day three will bring…

TAGS: Airframes
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