Live blog: Day 2 of Dubai Airshow 2015 (Part 2)

Arabian Business team continues to bring you all the interviews, deals, gossip and news from the biggest aviation showcase in the Middle East
By Staff writer
Mon 09 Nov 2015 01:53 PM

(Monday, Nov. 9, 17:40) Bad news for anyone planning to travel on Lufthansa from the airshow as the German flag carrier has confirmed flights to the Middle East from its hubs in Germany have been canceled as a result of ongoing industrial action by cabin crew. It has been forced to cancel approximately 929 continental and intercontinental flights, including those to the Gulf. Reuters reported that Lufthansa's daily losses from the biggest strike in its 60-year history are clearly in the double-digit millions of euros. Cabin crew walked out for a third day in Frankfurt, Munich and Dusseldorf in a long-running row over early retirement benefits and pensions.

(Monday, Nov. 9, 17:35) Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline, has been talking to CNBC, where he revealed that cheaper oil means fuel not accounts for 28 percent of its costs, down from 43 percent previously. While the slump in price has been good for its bottom line, he said in the top line benefits were not as strong due to "unit revenue pressures throughout our network." He added the oil exploration sector, that fuels its premium class business, has "gone south but the airline will "live with these things."

(Monday, Nov. 9, 17:05) Qatar Airways celebrated the arrival of its 25th Boeing Dreamliner at the Dubai Airshow, in a ceremony hosted by Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker and attended by Ray Conner, President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and the United States Ambassador to the State of Qatar, Her Excellency Dana Shell Smith...

(Monday, Nov. 9, 16:40) Deal Alert: Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi-based investment and development firm, and GE Aviation on Monday said they had agreed to form a maintenance, repair and operations joint venture, another step toward making Mubadala a key GE supplier by 2020. The agreement calls for the creation of a facility at the Nibras Al Ain Aerospace Park, and an unspecified direct investment by General Electric in the new venture. GE will also set up a dedicated parts logistics center for its GEnx engine to service the joint venture and regional GEnx operators, the companies said in a joint statement released during the Dubai Airshow.

(Monday, Nov. 9, 16:25) Deal Alert: Airbus said on Monday International Airlines Group (IAG)  - the parent holding company of British Airways, Spanish carrier Iberia and Ireland's Aer Lingus - has firmed up orders for 19 additional widebody and single aisle aircraft - 2 A330-200s, 2 A330-300s and 15 A320neos. In a statement coinciding with the Dubai Air Show, Airbus said the agreement with IAG and its airlines took their cumulative Airbus orders to a total of nearly 470 aircraft. The two A330-200s will be assigned to Iberia and the two A330-300s will be operated by Aer Lingus. The 15 A320neos will be assigned within the group.

(Monday, Nov. 9, 15:55) Deal Alert: Bombardier announced it will delivery two new entry-long range Global 5000 aircraft to ExecuJet Middle East of Dubai, which will manage the aircraft on behalf of two customers in the region. “The business jet fleet in the Middle East has more than doubled in the past 10 years, and our entry-long range Global 5000 jet is the most delivered large aircraft in the Middle East region,” said Khader Mattar, Vice President of Sales, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and China, Bombardier Business Aircraft (pictured below with Mike Berry, ExecuJet’s Vice President, Middle East). “The Middle East is a key region for Bombardier, and we are delighted to see our market leadership, in terms of both share and installed base, strengthened further by these deliveries.”

More than 100 Bombardier business jets are currently based in the Middle East.

 

(Monday, Nov. 9, 15:55) Deal Alert: Dubai authorities have signed a deal, thought to be worth $5 million, for 20 jetpacks and two training simulators.

Yesterday, we reported how New Zealand-based firm Martin Jetpack unveiled the Dubai Civil Defence-branded jetpack at Dubai Airshow. While no deal has been confirmed at the time, Peter Coker, CEO of Martin Jetpack said the local authority in Dubai was one of a number of Middle East government agencies interested in looking at investing in the technology, which has been around for a number of years.

The jetpack, which is expected to retail at somewhere between $200,000 and $250,000, was first launched at this year’s Paris Airshow, where interest was strong, according to Coker.

 

(Monday, Nov. 9, 15:50) Airbus is studying whether there is demand for a larger version of the A350 aircraft, its sales chief said. The European planemaker is not yet offering a specific design to airlines, but anything that it does decide to build would leapfrog Boeing's 777X, he said, referring to a new 406-seat version of the US company's 777 wide-body series. Airbus's largest twin-engined jet is the 369-seat A350-100, which competes partly with the 365-seat Boeing 777-300ER. Boeing launched its 777X with record orders at the last Dubai Airshow in 2013 and was widely seen as clipping the wings of the A350.

(Monday, Nov. 9, 15:20) Speaking earlier today at the ENOC press conference to announce the launch of Project Falcon - a 58km long jet fuel pipeline that links its storage terminal in Jebel Ali with Dubai International Airport - Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, outlined why be believes the aviation sector has become such an important part of the emirate's rapid development:

"When you look at the geocentric location of dubai – with the 4 hours flight time to almost a third of the world’s population and 8 hours flight time of two thirds of the world’s population you can see why considerable investments are being made in producing a top class aviation infrastructure has very well worth the money. Having two world class carriers- Emirates and flydubai is a powerful formula for growth.

"Since 1960, we have seen an annual average traffic growth rate of 13 percent. Drawing on the consistent growth in traffic since the airport was founded in 1960, we passed the important milestone of overtaking London Heathrow airport as the world’s largest international passenger airport.

"This year, we will eclipse 79 million passengers. By 2020, the demand we expect to satisfy across two airports will be around 126 million passengers. As a result of that, the aviation sector will remain an absolute cornerstone of the GDP growth of Dubai. Will also be an important engine for the social well-being and development. Today it supports 250,000 jobs and 22.7 percent of GDP; by 2020, the contribution is likely to be over 750,000 jobs and 37.5 percent of Dubai’s GDP."

 

(Monday, Nov. 9, 14:30) Deal Alert: In one of the biggest deals of the show so far... Emirates has signed a $16 billion agreement with GE Aviation for the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of the GE9X engines that will power the airline’s fleet of 150 Boeing 777X aircraft over a period of 12 years. It marks Emirates’ largest engine MRO contract to date.

At the 2013 Dubai Air Show, Emirates placed a record $76 billion order for 150 Boeing 777X twin-engine aircraft, powered by GE's new GE9X engine, it was the largest single order by value in the history of US commercial aviation.

Emirates also signed a 12-year contract with GE Aviation worth $36 million, covering the maintenance and inventory support for various avionics, electrical power and mechanical systems on all Emirates Boeing 777 aircraft in currently service and the 44 more 777-300ERs on order.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and CEO, Emirates Airline and Group (pictured below with David Joyce, president and CEO of GE Aviation) said: “Operating a modern and efficient fleet is at the foundation of Emirates’ success. Aircraft and engine purchases are long-term investments. It is also a commitment that involves many other related services over the life-span of the aircraft, generating and sustaining jobs throughout the aviation supply chain.

“Emirates currently operates GE engines on over 100 Boeing 777 in our fleet. Over the years, we have built a successful relationship with the GE team, and we cooperate in many areas including technology and innovation sharing, and also at our state of the art engine maintenance centre in Dubai. We look forward to extending this partnership to our GE9X-powered Boeing 777X fleet.”

 

(Monday, Nov. 9, 14:25) The UAE plans to buy two Saab Global 6000 aircraft for surveillance, a defence ministry official said at the Dubai Airshow on Monday. Major General Abdullah Al Hashimi, the ministry's executive director of strategic analysis, told reporters the value of the deal was $1.27 billion. He added that the UAE was in talks to upgrade systems on its two Saab 340 aircraft, and those discussions would be finalised in two years.

(Monday, Nov. 9, 14:20) Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) has announced the launch of Project Falcon, a 58-kilometres long jet fuel pipeline that links its storage terminal in Jebel Ali with Dubai International Airport (DXB). The pipeline also includes provisions for future needs of Al Maktoum International Airport. The project, valued at approximately $250 million, has oil terminal facilities with storage capacity of 140,000 cubic metres. The facility also has a 850 cubic metres per hour pumping capacity which will ensure adequate jet fuel supply to the Dubai International Airport.

(Monday, Nov. 9, 14:00) As we wrap up our lunch a number of agreements and news snippets have been announced on the sidelines. Here's the latest updates...

- Al-Futtaim has signed a lease agreement with Dubai South for a 10,000 square metres plot of land adjacent to the existing facility of DC Aviation Al-Futtaim (DCAF) as part of the expansion plans of the only fully integrated business aviation facility based out of Al Maktoum International Airport (AMIA) at Dubai South.

- Lufthansa Technik and Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI), the aircraft maintenance arm of Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), have signed an agreement to enter into a strategic partnership, involving maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) capabilities for Airbus and Boeing Aircraft.

- Bell Helicopter signed a letter of intent with Petroleum Air Services for the purchase of two Bell 525 Relentless super medium helicopters.

- The unveiling of the world’s fastest, largest and most complex 3D-printed drone was unveiled at Dubai Airshow today, forming the centrepiece of the event's debut 3D Printshow. The jet-engine powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is being demonstrated by show sponsor Stratasys. The lightweight aircraft, which took just two months to create, can break speeds of 200 miles per hour, is being used to highlight the flexibility of the technology to aircraft and technology manufacturers.

(Monday, Nov. 9, 14:00) In the first half of the second day of the Dubai Airshow we had a busy morning with interviews with Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group, who talked about a possible bond issuance, the ongoing subsidies row, the A380, and the $20 million Jennifer Aniston campaign, and Dennis Muilenburg, president and chief executive officer of The Boeing Company, who spoke about a deal with India's Jet Airways and the possibility of more orders ahead.

We also featured Qatar Airways Akbar Al Baker, Brazilian planemaker Embraer, flydubai, Eurofighter Typhoon, Mubadala, Etihad Airways and Airbus.

There is more to come as the afternoon continues, but click here for our roundup of events and news from earlier today.

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