Airbus, Boeing land orders at Dubai

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Airbus signed a deal with Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier, for 120 Airbus aircraft comprising 73 A320neos, 27 A321neos and 20 A321XLRs. (PHOTO: Airbus)

Airbus, Boeing land orders at Dubai

Airbus looks to have extended its lead over Boeing with new orders at the Dubai Airshow totalling about US$30 billion, but the American plane maker did manage to score an order for its troubled 737 MAX programme.

Airbus signed a deal with Emirates 50 A350XWBs and signed another deal with Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier, for 120 Airbus aircraft comprising 73 A320neos, 27 A321neos and 20 A321XLRs. Adel Al Ali, Group CEO of Air Arabia, said: “Air Arabia’s fleet growth strategy has always been driven by commercial demand and we are glad to announce today one of the region’s largest single-aisle orders with Airbus to support our growth plans. This new milestone underpins not only our solid financial fundamentals but also the strength of our multi-hub growth strategy that we have adopted over the years while remaining focused on efficiency, performance and passenger experience.” He added: “The addition of the A320neo, A321neo and A321XLR complements our existing fleet and allows us to expand our service to farther and newer destinations while remaining loyal to our low-cost business model. We look forward to working with Airbus and receiving the first delivery.” Air Arabia is an all Airbus operator with a total fleet of 54 A320 Family aircraft including the A321LR. All aircraft will feature a comfortable single-class cabin with one of the most generous seat pitches today.

Boeing hasn’t been totally shut out of the plane orders with the company announcing that leisure carrier SunExpress signed an order for 10 additional 737 MAX 8 models worth an estimated US$1.2 billion at list prices before discounts. This order adds to a previous one for 32 MAX airplanes. “We have a long standing, strong and trustful relationship with Boeing and thus we decided to turn our option into an order. We stand behind our strategic decision to phase the 737 MAX into our fleet for all of its economic and ecological advantages, mid- and long-term,” says Jens Bischof, CEO of SunExpress. “We have full confidence that Boeing will deliver us a safe, reliable, and efficient aircraft. However, it goes without saying that this requires the undisputed airworthiness of the model, granted by all relevant authorities. Our utmost priority at SunExpress is and has always been safety.”

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Matthew Driskill is the Editor of Asian Aviation and is based in Cambodia. He has been an Asia-based journalist and content producer since 1990 for outlets including Reuters and the International Herald Tribune/New York Times and is a former president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong. He frequently appears on international broadcast outlets like CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC and has taught journalism at Hong Kong University and the American University of Paris. Driskill has received awards from the Associated Press for Investigative Reporting and Business Writing and in 1989 was named the John J. McCloy Fellow by the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York where he earned his Master's Degree.

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