US companies remain the “preferred supplier” for the UAE’s commercial and military aviation needs, with over $44 billion in new orders placed at the recent Dubai Airshow, according to Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the United States.
In a statement, Al Otaiba said, “US exports of commercial and military aircraft, services and equipment to the UAE make up the largest share of America’s $19 billion trade surplus with the UAE.”
Among the notable orders placed at the Airshow was a firm order for 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft valued at $15.1 billion. According to statistics from the US Department of Commerce, this order alone will support 78,000 American jobs, both at Boeing and at its suppliers across the US.
The deal was widely seen as a blow to rival Airbus after it failed to finalise a deal for the sale of additional A380 aircraft to Emirates. Airbus, however, still hopes to conclude a deal by the end of the year.
Emirates has a long-standing relationship with Boeing, and is the world’s largest operator of 777 aircraft. In 2013, the airline announced the largest commercial airplane order in US aviation history, with commitments and purchase rights for 200 Boeing 777X aircraft. To date, Boeing has delivered or has on order 329 aircraft for Emirates.
Additionally, the Airshow saw a separate $27 billion sale of 225 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to flydubai, the largest single-aisle jet order by a Middle East airline. Flydubai has a total of 361 737s on its order books, of which 63 have been delivered.
“The UAE’s airlines rely on Boeing airplanes to meet the growing demand for air travel in the region, and between the region and Asia, Africa, Europe and North America,” Al Otaiba said. “Over the last decade, UAE customers have purchased over $150 billion in Boeing aircraft.”
Defence deals at the Airshow included a $1.6 billion dollar deal with Lockheed Martin to upgrade the UAE Air Force’s 80 F-16 fighter aircraft, as well as a $684 million deal with Raytheon for precision-guided munitions.
"The deals between UAE customers and US companies will support American jobs and help grow the US economy," Al Otaiba added. "The UAE is proud to partner with US manufacturers to create shared prosperity and advance our mutual security interests."