Two years after 9/11, Dubai’s biennial air show will declare itself to be firmly back to business as usual when it opens next month (December 7 to 11) in the United Arab Emirates. Last time, the event convincingly put on a brave face in the wake of 9/11 and the U.S.-led war against Al Qaeda and its Taliban allies in Afghanistan (just 500 miles north).
The September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. immediately cast doubt on the viability of next month’s Dubai Air Show in the United Arab Emirates (November 4 to 8). However, at press time show organizer Fairs & Exhibitions said no consideration had yet been given to postponing or canceling the event.
Airbus and Boeing took center stage at the Dubai Airshow this week, with airlines announcing orders worth some $80 billion. However, business aviation had its time in the sun, too. Embraer took orders for 51 business jets (seven Lineage 1000s, seven Legacy 600s, nine Phenom 300s and 28 Phenom 100s). Cessna reported selling 12 Mustangs and five Sovereigns. Dassault Falcon sold four 7Xs and one 900EX.
By all accounts, the 2007 edition of the Dubai Air Show has been a resounding success. A record number of aircraft lined the static display and billions of dollars in aircraft and engine orders were tallied. Yet this 10th airshow will be the last at what is now Dubai International Airport (DXB). When the aerospace industry next comes to the desert, it will be at the new Dubai World Central Airport now being built.
In recent years on the international airshow circuit, the Airbus A380 super-large airliner has dominated static displays. But here in Dubai, the double-decker had to vie for visitors’ attention among some 140 aircraft of all sorts of shape, size, origin and purpose. There is something here for everyone, from freighters and fighters to the fanciest VIP jets.
The UK Royal Air Force Red Arrows make a return appearance to the Dubai Air Show. Flying nine Hawks, the team is a crowd pleaser wherever it performs. Joining the Reds are the Patrouille de France flying Alphajets and Patrulla Aguila of Spain in CASA 101s. See videos of all the flying displays on AINtv.com.
Next year’s 60th anniversary Farnborough Airshow should be a record-breaker, according to organizers Farnborough International (Stand W106). Sales are at the highest level ever seen at this stage in the biennial cycle, the company said, and exhibitors’ plans are correspondingly ambitious.
JetCraft Trading, a newly formed alliance between business aviation specialist Jet Aviation and broker JetCraft Corporation, is here at the Dubai Airshow introducing its aircraft transaction coordination services to prospective Middle Eastern customers. At Jet Aviation Dubai’s FBO, sales director Hardy Bütschi is now the local point of contact for aircraft sales and acquisition services, the company said.
In just over three months, on February 19, the renamed Singapore Airshow will open at a brand new purpose-built site, with a new dress code for professional visitors and a new organization behind the scenes.
Buoyed by the 40 percent growth figures for this year’s event, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum is making no secret of Dubai’s ambitions to eventually host the world’s biggest airshow in 20 years’ time.