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Emirates Makes Historic $52 Billion Boeing Aircraft Purchase at Dubai Air Show

by Anna

Dubai, November 14, 2023 – Emirates, the long-haul carrier, commenced the Dubai Air Show on a high note, revealing a staggering $52 billion purchase of Boeing Co. aircraft. This move reflects the resilience of the aviation industry post-coronavirus pandemic groundings. Despite regional security concerns arising from the Israel-Hamas conflict, the airline’s low-cost sister, FlyDubai, also contributed to Boeing’s success with an $11 billion order for 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

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The announcement, witnessed by Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, detailed Emirates’ plan to acquire 90 Boeing 777 aircraft. Among them, 55 will be the 777-9 variants, and 35 will be 777-8s. In addition, Emirates will enhance its fleet with an extra five 787 Dreamliners, supplementing the previous order of 30.

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Emirates officials emphasized the separation of FlyDubai’s order from the long-haul carrier, despite both being owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai. This marks a significant shift for FlyDubai, known for operating Boeing 737 single-aisle aircraft on shorter routes.

The Dubai Air Show unfolds against the backdrop of the Israel-Hamas war and Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, influencing the five-day event at Al Maktoum Airport in Dubai World Central. The show, featuring commercial aviation and arms manufacturers, witnessed the U.S. Air Force’s display of a supersonic B-1 bomber and other aircraft.

Despite geopolitical tensions, the air show attracted a diverse array of participants, including major Israeli firms Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. and Israel Aerospace Industries. Notably, the Russian Helicopters’ presence, despite sanctions over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine, underscores the global interest in the event.

Global aviation has experienced a resurgence, reaching 97% of pre-COVID levels, according to the International Air Transport Association. Emirates, a key player in Dubai’s economic landscape, announced record half-year profits of $2.7 billion, reflecting the airline’s recovery from pandemic challenges.

The booming aviation industry also attracted interest from other carriers, such as Riyadh Air, a new Saudi carrier with plans for substantial investments. Turkish Airlines and Indian airlines are reportedly considering significant aircraft purchases, contributing to the overall vibrancy of the industry.

In addition to Emirates’ historic purchase, Boeing Co. announced a commitment from SunExpress, jointly owned by Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa, for up to 90 single-aisle Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Meanwhile, Airbus secured sales with airBaltic of Latvia ordering 30 A220-300s, and Boeing received orders from Royal Jordanian and Royal Air Maroc for Dreamliners.

The Dubai Air Show remains a pivotal platform for the aviation sector, showcasing the industry’s resilience and adaptability amid geopolitical challenges.

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