November 16, Dubai Airshow Exhibition Hall, (Photo: Dubai Airshow.aero)
Dubai, November 17 -- This year's Dubai Airshow held from Nov. 12-16 reached an order book of $113.8 billion, up from $37.2 billion two years ago, according to the show's organizer F&E Aerospace.
The event at Dubai's second aviation hub Al Maktoum International Airport marked a number of firsts.
China's Chinese Air Force's August 1st Air Demonstration Team of the People's Liberation Army demonstrated their aerobatic stunts daily with six J-10 fighter jets on the flying display for the first time in the history of the biennial Dubai Airshow.
On Wednesday, Airbus and Pan-American Indigo Partners' four portfolio airlines have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the purchase by the four airlines of 430 additional A320neo family aircraft worth 49.5 billion dollars, marking the European aircraft carrier's largest single announcement ever.
But in relation to long-haul planes, U.S. rival Boeing as the Seattle-based and New York-stock listed firm, sealed on day one the sale of 40 Boeing 787-10 wide-body planes to Emirates Airline, the largest long-haul carrier in the world for $15.1 billion.
FlyDubai, which is like Emirates owned by the Dubai government, hit the news on Wednesday when its chairman Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum said the low-budget carrier would buy 225 aircraft of Boeing's 737 MAX family for $27 billion, the largest-ever single-aisle aircraft order, in terms of number of units and airplanes.
Airbus did not score the sale of a single A380 "Superjumbo" double-decker aircraft, its flagship plane, at this airshow, marking a first at a Dubai Airshow in this decade.
Tim Clark, President of Emirates which earlier in the month celebrated the delivery of its 100th A380 in Germany, repeated at the airshow Emirates' position that it wants guarantees that the production of the A380 would continue for a decade.
Clark presented on day one of the event the new first class suite, designed by German car maker Mercedes-Benz, in which wealthy passengers can sleep in their own closed cabin.
"Demand for the Emirates first class is very strong in China. We see a good market in East Asia for our premium products in particular because they like what we do, and how we do it," said Clark.
McAllister also signed with sub-Saharan Africa's largest carrier Ethiopian Airlines the deal for four Boeing 777 cargo aircraft valued at $1.3 billion.
Ismail Abdulla, CEO of aviation products and services firm Strata, Abu Dhabi, said "geopolitical tensions in the region did not affect the business activity at this year's airshow."
Strata, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi's government-controlled, finalized a joint venture contract with Belgian chemicals producer Solvay to manufacture material for Boeing in a new 8,500-square-meter facility in Al Ain in the southwest of the UAE.
"I think this was a successful event for both Airbus and Boeing," said Abdulla.
The UAE could become a production hub for Russia's aircraft producer Irkut, too, as the state-owned firm said it mulls jointly constructing its narrow-body plane MC-21 with the Gulf Arab state.