Boeing Enjoys Lavish Orders Bounty at Dubai Air Show

 - November 21, 2011, 11:00 AM
Emirates Airline placed an order with Boeing for up 70 of its 777ER airliners.

Calculating the value of business announced during airshows is an inexact science, but as the 2011 Dubai Air Show came to an end last week the combined sales tally for airliners, engines and support contracts looked set to have topped $50 billion. Boeing grabbed the lion’s share of this through a $26 billion deal with Emirates Airline covering 50 of its 777-300ER long-range twinjets and options for 20 more. The U.S. airframer also completed a $1.2 billion deal with Oman Air that will see it receive six of the new 787 Dreamliner, which made its Middle East debut at the Dubai show. Qatar Airways ordered a pair of 777 Freighters in a $560 million agreement. Within hours of the event’s closing it was surpassed when Indonesia’s Lion Air ordered 210 of the proposed 737MAXs and 29 737-900ERs in a deal worth $21.7 billion. The deal, concluded in Jakarta, also covered “purchase rights” for another 150 unspecified aircraft. Around the same time U.S. leasing group Aviation Capital Group (ACG) ordered 20 737-800s and made a commitment for 25 737MAXs.

Airbus boosted its own balance sheet to the tune of some $15 billion in Dubai. Despite slamming the European airframer for its eve-of-show admission that deliveries of the new A350XWB could run up to 12 months late, Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker signed a $4.6 billion deal for 50 of the new A320neo narrowbodies and an agreement worth up to $3 billion for five A380s plus options for three more. Alafco ordered 50 more A320neos at a list price of $4.6 billion and ACG ordered 30 more for approximately $2.7 billion.

Where there are airliner orders engine deals are sure to follow. CFM International was the clear winner in Dubai, with orders and associated support contracts worth approximately $6.7 billion. This business was dominated by an agreement with Republic Airways of the U.S. covering Leap-1A engines for 20 A319neos and 60 A320neos, and an 18-year support contract. Pratt & Whitney announced deals of undisclosed values to provide PW1100G-JM turbofans for 50 A320neos for Qatar Airways and 50 for Alafco. Rolls-Royce returned from Dubai with $1 billion in new business, including the provision of Trent 1000 engines for Oman Air’s new Boeing 787s, and Trent 700s for AviancaTaca and Saudi Arabian Airlines.


Keep those cards and letters coming in!

Timing affect counts towards orders more than bragging rights of product. However, Boeing's announcement of sales success at Dubai remains an impressive accomplishment based on product meeting customers needs and its readiness to make that kind of purchasing commitment.

The battle of the skies will be won by innovations and who can make greatest margins by efficient operations and customer satisfaction. Both Boeing and Airbus have a long road to go before victory over the market can be proclaimed. Finally, a few other players are entering into the arena of aircraft manufacturing. It will be interesting to see how it all unfolds but I hope the traveling public is the winner.

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