Dubai Airshow strikes deals worth $17 billion on opening day

DUBAI (Xinhua) – The 15th edition of the biennial Dubai Airshow kicked off on Sunday and deals worth 17 billion US dollars were signed.

The major deal being sealed on day one of the airshow was an order placed by Emirates Airline for 40 Boeing 787-10 aircraft valued at 15.1 billion dollars.

Emirates is already the world’s largest Boeing 777 operator and the airline will be first to receive the new 777X in 2020.

Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Emirates Chairman and CEO of Dubai’s government-controlled carrier, said Boeing 787 is a great complement to the current 777 and A380 fleet, providing more flexibility to serve a range of destinations “as we develop our global route network.”

Boeing says the 787-10 offers 10 per cent better in fuel and emissions than competitive aircraft in the sector, and some 25 per cent better in fuel efficiency per seat and emissions than the aircraft it is replacing.

Emirati visitors walk past a Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner during the opening day of the Dubai Air Show, United Arab Emirates. – AP

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Defence revealed an order book worth more than 1.77 billion dollars, including the purchase of 60 Lockheed Martin F-16s.

The order book includes new deals for international and local companies, including Abu Dhabi Aviation, Thales, Augusta Westland and Global Aerospace Logistics.

Milestone Aviation Group, a GE Capital Aviation Services company and a global helicopter leasing firm, and Italian aerospace and defence firm Leonardo announced Sunday that Falcon Aviation of UAE’s Abu Dhabi will expand its AgustaWestland AW169 helicopter fleet with the addition of a further three aircraft.

Jetex Flight Support in Dubai announced plans to build its aircraft hangar at the Jetex (fixed-base operation) FBO Terminal near Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai South Aviation District.

Set to be operational by 2019, the new development, encompassing 20,000 square metres, will feature an air-conditioned hangar fully equipped to accommodate the parking and maintenance needs of all major types of aircraft.

The five-day Dubai Airshow which occupies 645,000 square metres at the exhibition centre near Al Maktoum International Airport will run through Thursday.

More than 72,500 trade visitors and 1,200 exhibitors are expected across the event’s five-day run, representing the entire spectrum of the aerospace industry.