By Parag Deulgaonkar
UAE is a ‘very strong’ market for 777 and 777X, says Bernie Dunn
US aerospace company Boeing is not expecting any delays or cancellations to its orders in the Middle East, according to a senior company executive.
In December 2016, the US aircraft manufacturer announced a $16.6 billion (AED61 billion) 80 aircraft deal with IranAir which includes 50 narrow-body 737 MAX aircraft and 30 long-haul 777s, split equally between the 777-300ER, and the 406-seat 777-9.
Subsequently, Iran’s Deputy Transport Minister Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan said that the deal was only 50 percent of the announced figure.
“Our orders are holding firm. We are very happy about that,” company president for Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) Bernie Dunn told Arabian Business in an interview.
UAE airlines have ordered over 600 Boeing aircraft since 1997, including purchases and leases, and have another 560 confirmed bookings.
Dunn revealed that one in every five 777s currently being manufactured is delivered to the Middle East, with Dubai’s Emirates airline being the largest single Boeing customer.
Boeing, however, said last month it will cut production of its 777 jetliner to five a month in August 2017, from 8.3 a month in December last year.
“The production cut will not affect the delivery schedule in the region. We will, of course, fulfil our backlog with our regional customers,” Dunn said.
Emirates, Etihad Airways, and FlyDubai are among Boeing’s major regional clients, having provided the company with its largest commercial aviation order for 777X aircraft at the 2013 Dubai Airshow.
“They [UAE airlines] love that airplane… they wanted it go farther, carry more people and do more things.
“The UAE is a very strong market for the 777, and it is only going to get stronger as 777X comes online, around 2020,” he added.
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