Dubai: In a pivotal moment for the UAE's aviation industry, the Dubai Airshow's opening day witnessed an unprecedented surge in growth as multiple deals for commercial aircraft were secured from manufacturers.
Among the standout announcements, Emirates ($52 billion) and flydubai ($11 billion) unveiled a staggering $63 billion procurement plan for widebody aircraft from Boeing, marking a significant shift towards expanding their fleet capacities.
It was undoubtedly a big day for the American Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) as it secured deals from SunExpress, Royal Jordanian, and Air Maroc. Egypt Air also signed a lease agreement with Air Lease Corporation for 18 Boeing 737 MAX 8s. French manufacturer Airbus bagged an incremental order for an additional 30 A220-300s from AirBaltic.
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In response to the historic deal signed by Emirates and flydubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President of and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said, "The announcement by Emirates and flydubai of signing aircraft purchases worth more than Dh231 billion at Dubai Airshow is an expression of our confidence in the future. And our confidence in our economy. And our confidence in our national companies and their cadres."
Meanwhile, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group, said, "These additional aircraft will enable Emirates to connect even more cities, supporting the Dubai economic agenda D33 set out by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to add 400 cities to Dubai's foreign trade map over the next decade."
Here are the top deals of the day
• Emirates: Emirates ordered 95 additional widebody aircraft, taking its total order book to 295. Already the world's biggest operator of widebody passenger aircraft, Emirates has committed to additional Boeing 777-9s, 777-8s, and 787s worth US$ 52 billion. Emirates also confirmed an order of 202 GE9X engines to power the additional 777X aircraft ordered today, taking its total GE9X engine order to 460 units.
• flydubai signed an agreement to purchase 30 787-9 Dreamliners as the airline diversifies its fleet with the introduction of widebody jets
• SunExpress, a joint venture of Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa, committed to purchasing up to 90 fuel-efficient single-aisle Boeing jets. The agreement includes 28 737-8 and 17 737-10 models, with the opportunity for up to 45 additional 737 MAX aeroplanes.
• Egypt Air also signed a lease agreement with Air Lease Corporation for 18 Boeing 737 MAX 8s
• Jordan's flag carrier, Royal Jordanian, ordered four 787-9 Dreamliner jets as the airline expands and modernizes its widebody fleet. Jordan's flag carrier also reconfirmed a previous order for two 787-9s, bringing its total 787-9 backlog to six.
• Moroccan national carrier Royal Air Maroc placed a repeat order for the 787 Dreamliner, confirming two 787-9s in its order book as the airline grows its widebody fleet.
• French OEM Airbus said airBaltic will become the largest A220 customer in Europe after confirming an incremental order for an additional 30 A220-300s
• On the defence side, deals worth Dh4.7 billion were signed on the first day of the Airshow, according to Tawazun Council, which works with the Ministry of Defence and security agencies.