Dubai Air Show flies high with $100bn orders

The Dubai Air Show is now the biggest in the world, says CHERYL MANDY

ONSITE orders at this year’s Dubai Air Show held at the Dubai Airport Expo from November 11 to 15 totalled more than Dh365 billion ($100 billion), representing an increase more than five times that of the 2005 Dubai air show, where $21.3 billion in sales were secured.

This year’s show managed to top all other figures in any worldwide aviation event. By the close of the final day of Dubai 2007, the total value of firm orders and letters of intent (292) received by Airbus was $43.1 billion and Boeing had 55 firm orders valued at $10.6 billion and a letter of intent from DAE Capital to buy 100 aircraft valued at $13.7 billion, including 70 medium-haul 737s, taking Boeing’s orders to $24.3 billion.
Organisers were Dubai’s Civil Aviation Authority and Aerospace, Fairs & Exhibitions in collaboration with the UAE Armed Forces.
The lion’s share of orders were secured by Dubai Aerospace Enterprise and Emirates Airline – the latter on opening day placed single-day aircraft orders valued at $35 billion. This was for 120 Airbus A350s, 11 A380s and 12 Boeing 777-300ERs. The very next day DAE Capital, the aircraft leasing subsidiary of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, placed two deals valued at more than $27 billion, for 100 Boeing and 100 Airbus aircraft.
Other large deals from Gulf airlines include Qatar Airways which confirmed $13.5 billion order for 30 Boeing 787s and 27 777s, Air Arabia will be more than trebling its fleet size with the purchase of 49 Airbus A320 aircraft valued at around Dh12.8 billion ($3.5 billion). Other deals comprised a firm contract for 10 Airbus A350 XWBs from Yemenia, the official airline of Yemen, an order for five A330s from Oman Air.
Saudi Arabian Airlines signed a letter of intent to buy 22 A320s, valued at around $1.6 billion. Saudi Arabia’s National Air Services (NAS), intends to add 120 new aircraft to its fleet over the next five years.
NAS chairman Ayed Al Jeaid said the mega investment, which is expected to spill over $4 billion, is part of the NAS’ strategy to diversify and integrate its strategic business units while entering new markets for its private and commercial services across the region.
Egypt’s private company Nile Air signed a deal for nine A320s at just below $1 billion at catalogue prices.
This year’s Dubai Air Show featured 850 exhibitors from 50 countries, including, for the first time, the Cayman Islands, Philippines, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Luxembourg.
There were 11 national pavilions - Austria, Canada, France, Germany, India, Jordan, the Netherlands, Sweden, the Ukraine, UK and USA – plus 91 chalets, 15 outdoor pavilions and more than 140 aircraft.
Aircraft on show ranged from strike fighters to trainers, from VIP business jets to heavy cargo carriers, plus a very light jet (VLJ) range, the Cirrus SR22 G3 – the world’s fastest-selling, single-engined, four-seater aircraft; the Eclipse 500, the VLJ forerunner; the Dassault Falcon 7X, the original ‘fly-by-wire’ long-range business jet; the Sino Swearingen SJ30, the world’s fastest, longest-range light jet and the MD 902 helicopter with its no-tail-rotor technology. The Airbus A380 super jumbo also made an appearance.
In 2009 the show will move to a bigger, purpose-built site at Dubai World Central, a massive multi-phase development project to be built 40 kilometres from Dubai city centre at Jebel Ali and will include Dubai World Central International Airport (JXB).