Dubai Airshow order book crosses $55bn


By Waheed Abbas

Total value of aircraft orders announced at Dubai Airshow crossed $55 billion mark on the third day following big orders announced by Qatar Airways and US-based Spirit Airlines on Tuesday.

Florida-based Spirit Airlines signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus for 75 Airbus A320 family jets worth $7 billion – which includes 45 A320neo (new engine option) and 30 A320 aircraft. The MoU should be converted into a firm order by the end of the year.

After resolving its earlier differences with Airbus, Qatar Airways signed an order for 50 A320neo aircraft and five A380 double-decker aircraft, with a total list price of $6.4 billion. The Doha-based carrier, which has taken options on 30 additional A320neos, plus three additional A380s, will be the A320neo launch customer.

“The A320neo promises to be a great aircraft which is why we have chosen it to form the backbone of our future single aisle expansion,” said Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways.

Al Baker earlier on Tuesday dismissed Airbus as “still learning to make airplanes” but later in the day they scrapped through.

On the first day of show, Boeing and Emirates Airline announced an order for 50 Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range) aircraft, plus options for an additional 20, which, with a value of $26 billion, making it the single largest commercial aircraft order in Boeing’s 95 year history, in dollar value.

Boeing’s flight services unit Jeppesen also announced a new contract agreement with Emirates Aviation College. The deal will provide Jeppesen’s ‘ab initio’ pilot training courses to the Dubai-based institute.

“It is a strategic collaboration between Emirates Aviation College and Jeppesen to offer the region’s first of its kind JAA ab initio pilot training programme,” said Dr Ahmad Al Ali, Senior Vice President Emirates Aviation College.