Dubai: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, inaugurated the 11th edition of Dubai Air Show on Sunday.

While new orders were thin, deals were aplenty as the industry renegotiates its way through the gradual economic upturn.

"The air show comes at an important time for the aerospace industry as the world begins to see a revival in fortunes," Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Dubai Airports, said.

"During the past two years, the business has experienced unprecedented turbulence. However, I am very pleased that many organisations at this year's show were among those that continued to invest in the industry during the worst of times," he added.

Growth in Mideast

Despite a huge orderbook, which exceeds $50 billion (Dh183.7 billion), Emirates airline might see more orders today. Shaikh Ahmad, who is also Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group, told Gulf News that some announcements would be made.

"It is the Middle East and the GCC in particular, that has seen a growth in air transport," Shaikh Ahmad said.

Optimism is high in the industry. "Everybody is talking about new orders, nobody is talking about delays and cancellations," chief operating officer of Airbus, John Leahy, told reporters. "Nine months ago, there was talk of delaying deliveries, we have not heard any of that this air show. We've been hearing about ‘Should I accelerate my position?' It's a complete change," he added.