Dubai Air Show: the sky's the limit


By Russell Hotten

The Paris Air Show in June was notable for the absence of a big US military presence. Defence chiefs and major contractors were hard to spot.

Fast-forward to this weekend and the start of the biennial Dubai Air Show, and it’s a very different story.

A US Navy aircraft carrier off the Dubai coast is hosting a dinner for 800 official delegates from around the world.

US defence firms are out in force. Little expense seems to have been spared to showcase their fighter jets, bombers and other military hardware.

It all illustrates the importance of this week-long festival of deal-making and schmoozing in the Gulf city-state.

Record orders?

To match the pre-show hype, the Dubai event got off the ground with a number of big orders.

Dubai-based Emirates placed an order for 150 of Boeing’s new 777 mini-jumbos, in a deal valued at $76bn according to list prices.

It also ordered 50 Airbus A380s, the world’s largest passenger plane.

Boeing also saw demand from Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, with the US manufacturer announcing commitments for some 259 of its revamped 777X aircraft, worth roughly $100bn at list prices. More info