As part of its planned expansion in Europe, Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways intends to increase its ownership stake in Air Berlin to 29 percent, a move that would make it the largest single shareholder in Germany’s second largest airline.
After sending reporters back and forth from canceled press conference to canceled press conference, the organizers of this month’s Dubai Air Show clearly appeared as frustrated as the press corps by the shifting messages sent by OEMs and their customers at the Middle East’s preeminent aerospace event.
Emirates SkyCargo set a company record this past summer when it carried 52.87 metric tons of freight in the belly hold of one of its Boeing 777-300ERs on a flight from Karachi to Dubai. Indeed, the load, consisting mainly of dense perishable meat products and vegetable produce, marked a significant achievement for Emirates during a period of sagging fortunes in the air cargo business.
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.
Boeing and Airbus are in broad agreement over the impressive growth rate expected in the Middle East airliner fleet between now and 2030, according to new market forecasts released during the Dubai Air Show last week.
GE Aviation will help oversee the design and construction of a new $120 million engine overhaul shop that Emirates Airline plans to build in Dubai. Plans call for construction to begin on the 226,000-sq-ft shop in the first quarter of 2012 and for operations to start in the fourth quarter of 2014.
With its rapidly growing route network, long-term expansion plans and emphasis on reduced operating costs, flydubai has to be considered a prime sales prospect for Boeing’s re-engined 737 MAX airliner. The low-cost carrier has held talks with the U.S. airframer about the new design but, for the time being, has not indicated whether it will place an order for it.
Emirates Airline made history at the Dubai Air Show yesterday in placing the largest single order ever for Boeing commercial airplanes, signing for 50 Boeing 777-300ERs and reserving options on another 20 of the long-range widebodies.
With its rapidly growing route network, long-term expansion plans and emphasis on reduced operating costs, flydubai has to be considered a prime sales prospect for Boeing’s re-engined 737 MAX airliner.
As a market with a distinct preference for larger VIP and business aircraft, the Middle East has long been considered good sales territory for Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJs). Recent experience proves this with four more operators in the region having committed to swelling the local fleet.