Qatar Airways (Stand C130) is again at the Dubai Airshow on Emirates Airlines’ home turf evidently to remind its rival that it can’t have this prosperous territory all to itself. Along with Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, the Doha-based carrier has adopted a very high profile as it seeks to take a share of the market to provide long-haul connecting service through its Gulf hub.
The Emirates Group
Until about a year ago, the Dubai economy laid a fair claim to being the mother of all modern property booms with new skyscrapers appearing on its skyline at a breathtaking rate. However, once ripples from the global financial crisis started to hit Dubai’s shores, it appeared that many of the developments may figuratively have been built on sand without the firm foundation of sustainable demand.
Tim Clark is relieved, if only slightly, because the Emirates Airline president sees a less bleak future for the local carrier than he projected a few months ago. Following better-than-expected performance through the middle of this year, Clark believes that in 2010 the airline industry should benefit from increased consumer spending, unless the recession deepens or stock markets decline strongly.
While it might seem to have been only yesterday that Airbus launched the mighty A380–and scarcely five minutes since the double-deck widebody entered service with Singapore Airlines (SIA)–by the first quarter of 2010 there will be five carriers with almost 30 aircraft flying on many of the world’s most important routes.
Air France today took delivery of its first Airbus A380, the 20th delivered by Airbus since Singapore Airlines took the first superjumbo in October 2007. The French carrier expects to become the first European airline to fly the all-new, double-deck airliner when it begins scheduled services next month.
British Airways has delayed delivery of its first six Airbus A380s by an average of five months and the remaining six by an average of two years, the airline confirmed in a July 3 traffic release. Although it still expects first delivery of the big jets in 2012, under the terms of the new schedule the last airplane would not arrive until 2016.
Boeing announced today that it has joined the first 747-8’s wing box to the airplane’s 40-foot-long center fuselage section in the final assembly bay at its factory in Everett, Wash. Meanwhile, workers continue to prepare the wing and center section for final body join, when the center fuselage-wing assembly gets connected to the forward and aft fuselage sections.
Air Austral selected the Engine Alliance GP7200 to power the pair of Airbus A380s it has ordered. Air Austral also chose Engine Alliance as its service provider to maintain, repair and overhaul its A380 engines as part of a 10-year fleet management agreement. The value of the deal, signed here yesterday, totals $240 million at list prices.
The organizers of this year’s Dubai Airshow (November 15 to 19) expect to break all existing exhibition space records with the addition of a fourth hall, sponsored and hosted by Dubai-based Emirates. The biennial airshow will feature a new Emirates Hall, which will cover 75,616 sq ft, including 53,820 sq ft for exhibition stands. The additions will raise the total airshow area to 3.5 million square feet.
This week’s historic Paris Air Show may yet deliver its usual share of surprises, but one apparent certainty is that very few of the exhibitors are likely to go home richer off the back of new orders announced here at Le Bourget. That certainly seems to be true of the commercial air transport sector, but there is some prospect of two important deals being sealed on the military side.