From November 17th to 21st, the Dubai Airshow 2019 took place at Dubai’s ‘World Central’ Airport.
The organizer claims the total value of deals and commitments signed at this year’s edition of the biennial airshow amounts to US $54.5 billion. This is less than half of the Dubai Airshow 2017, which is mostly because Airbus won the largest ever single order for aircraft in that year – 430 A32neo family aircraft signed by Indigo Partners.
Although there wasn’t a big launch, for example the announcement of a new aircraft type (like the Airbus A321XLR at the Paris Air Show), aircraft manufacturers still managed to receive a number of orders and commitments, with Airbus winning the race for the most airplanes sold at the show.
Airbus announces 220 aircraft orders
The European aircraft manufacturer secured a total of 220 orders and commitments.
Airbus didn’t make any announcements during the first day of the Dubai Airshow, but on the second day, it signed the two largest orders of the event.
Emirates placed a firm order for 50 Airbus A350-900 wide-body aircraft, replacing an earlier commitment for 30 A350 and 40 A330neo. This comes after the Dubai-based airline cancelled 39 remaining A380 orders in Feburary, when Airbus announced the production of the Superjumbo would end in 2021.
On the same day, low-cost carrier Air Arabia announced a firm order for 120 Airbus A320neo family aircraft, consisting of 73 A320neo, 27 A321neo and 20 long-range A321XLR. Two more A321XLR orders came later during the week from Saudi Arabian low-cost airline Flynas, which signed a firm order for ten, as well as GECAS. The aircraft lessor ordered 20 Airbus A321XLR (seven of those were converted from a previous A321 order), along with twelve A330-900neo.
Tuesday at the airshow, African carrier Air Senegal signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for an order for eight A220-300 narrow-body aircraft.
An additional Airbus announcement during the week, but not at the Dubai Airshow, was an order for another twelve A320neo by British low-cost airline EasyJet.
Boeing catches three 737 MAX commitments
The week was less exciting for Boeing, as the aircraft manufacturer only secured 97 orders and commitments.
However, it did receive a vote of confidence in its 737 MAX family, which is still grounded around the world, following two deadly accidents. On Monday, the second day at Dubai Airshow, Turkish leisure airline SunExpress signed an order for ten more 737 MAX 8, making it the first ever firm purchase of the 737 MAX, since the grounded started in March this year. This deal was followed by a Letter of Intent (LoI) for 30 737 MAX 8, signed by Air Astana. The airline plans to use these planes for its new low-cost carrier ‘FlyArystan’.
Also, a firm order for 20 737 MAX was reportedly singed during the show by an unnamed customer. The order consists of 10 737 MAX 7 and ten 737 MAX 10. The 737 MAX 7 is the smallest member of the 737 MAX family and only has orders from four airlines – including this yet to be announced one, while the 737 MAX 10 is the longest variant. It has 520 orders and was quietly rolled out by Boeing on Friday after the airshow.
A total of four orders were signed for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. First, two more 787-8 singed by Biman Bangladesh Airlines, followed two days later by two 787-9, ordered by Egyptair, through lessor AerCap. The Government of Ghana signed a Memorandum of Understanding for three Boeing 787-9, in a bid to re-launch the country’s airline.
On Wednesday, the UAE’s Emirates Airline surprised with a purchase agreement for 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, while at the same time cancelling 24 of its 777X orders. The airline had initially intended to receive 40 of the larger 787-10, in a deal signed with Boeing at the 2017 Dubai Airshow. This previous 787-10 commitment is not part of Boeing’s order book.
DHC gets ‘up to’ 37 Dash orders
De Havilland Aircraft of Canada (DHC) managed to catch a good number of commitments for its Dash 8-400 turboprop aircraft, following a weak Paris Air Show in June, during which the Canadian manufacturer only received one commitment for six aircraft.
At this year’s Dubai Airshow, a total of five customers signed deals for DHC aircraft. Firm orders were announced by Nigeria-based Elin Group and ACIA Aero Capital; both companies signed for three aircraft each. Another three announced Letter of Intents (LoI). Dubai’s Palma Holdings signed a LoI for 20 Dash 8-400, Aurora, a Russian regional carrier, signed for five, and the Republic of Ghana agreed to a LoI for up to six aircraft, also for the country’s planned airline re-launch.
De Havilland’s closest competitor, ATR, did not announce any aircraft orders during Dubai Air Show. The same goes for Japanese Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which also did not receive any new orders for its ‘Spacejet’.
Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer, which is soon to be integrated into the Boeing brand, made two order announcements for its families of regional jets.
Air Peace, Nigeria’s largest airline, placed a firm order for three E195-E2 and Cairo-based CIAF Leasing ordered three E190 aircraft. Both deals were announced during the first day of the airshow.
Read more: Order summary of the Paris Air Show 2019
Jakob Wert is an aviation journalist from Germany. He built up the website IFN.news and is the Editor-In-Chief of International Flight Network.