Last year, the Dubai Airshow saw about 80,000 trade visitors from around the world, 1,200 exhibitors from 63 countries, and an order book in excess of $113.8 billion.
The show this year opened with billions of dollars’ worth of deals on the cards and it just makes sense - the Middle East’s commercial airplane and services market will be worth more than $1.5 trillion over the next 20 years.
Announcements are expected from aerospace giant’s Boeing and Airbus as well as Dubai’s Emirates airline and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, General Electric and Lockheed Martin, among many others.
For now let me take you through some key announcements and highlights from the aviation sector
- The last two years haven’t been easy on the aviation industry or the global economy
- A cooperation accord between Emirates and Fly Dubai has already morphed into a de facto merger
- A recent agreement will see Air Arabia establish a short-haul operation in Abu Dhabi to provide vital traffic to Etihad, which is struggling under the weight of $4.8 billion in losses over three years.
- Boeing’s 737 Max, a star at the 2017 gathering, is grounded following two fatal accidents. The Airbus A380 super-jumbo has been cancelled, and the three big regional carriers - Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways - are re-evaluating their fleet requirements and route networks
- Air Arabia may announce an order for 100 Airbus narrow-bodies with a sticker price of $10 billion
- Emirates has yet to sign off on 70 Airbus wide-body jets worth $21 billion at list prices.
So a little more on the show now
- Dubai Airshow is a five-day trade event that is not open to the general public.
- The main highlight is the aerobatic display where aircraft will take to the skies over Dubai from 2pm to 5pm every day.
- Not all planes at the show will fly but confirmed displays so far include an Airbus A330neo, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, French Rafale fighter and RAF Eurofighter Typhoon.
- The apron has some interesting aircraft like F22 Raptor and F35 Lightning jets on static display
- Boeing has a backlog of 5,500 commercial aircraft orders around the world. Over the next 20 years, the company believes that 44,000 new aircraft will be needed, creating $16 trillion worth of potential business opportunities.
(Source: Arabianbusiness.com YouTube channel)