- Airbus landed 408 orders for aircraft at the Dubai Airshow ranging from the new A350 Freighter to the A220-300.
- Boeing paled in comparison with 98 orders, including a 72-aircraft order for the 737 Max.
- Cargo aircraft proved to be a common denominator between the two rival manufacturers.
DUBAI — The Dubai Airshow officially ended and Airbus walked away with 408 aircraft orders and commitments, besting competitor Boeing which ended the show with only 98 of the same.
Indigo Partners, an airline holding company, placed massive orders for next-generation Airbus narrow-body aircraft including the A321neo and A321XLR for its family of ultra-low-cost airlines. The opening day order quickly placed Airbus ahead of Boeing and set the tone for the five-day event.
European carrier Wizz Air will receive 75 A321neo and 27 A321XLR aircraft, American carrier Frontier Airlines will receive 91 A321neo aircraft, Mexican carrier Volaris will receive 39 A321neo aircraft, and Chilean carrier JetSmart will receive 21 A321neo and 2 A321XLR aircraft, as part of the mega order.
Airbus also launched the A350 Freighter, the cargo variant of the popular A350 XWB passenger wide-body plane, in a seven-aircraft order to aircraft leasing company Air Lease Corporation. Other models in the 111-aircraft order from Air Lease included 25 Airbus A220-300s, 55 A321neos, and four A330neos, to be leased to airlines around the world.
Finally, on the commercial side, Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways placed an order for 28 Airbus A321neo aircraft while Nigeria’s Ibom Air joined the Airbus family with an order for 10 A220 jets.
Airbus’ defense division secured orders for two Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport aircraft bound for the United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defence. Indonesia also purchased two Airbus A400M cargo planes.
Boeing began the air show with strong sales on the cargo conversion side of its business as carriers look to expand air freight operations amid the shipping crisis. DHL Express placed an order for nine Boeing 767-300BCF, or Boeing Converted Freighter, aircraft while aircraft leasing company Icelease ordered 11 Boeing 737-800BCFs.
Emirates followed with a newly-revealed order for two new Boeing 777-200 Freighter aircraft to expand its Emirates SkyCargo fleet. Four Boeing 777-300ERSF aircraft will also join the Emirates fleet in a deal with Israel Aerospace Industries to convert four of the airline’s 777-300ER passenger aircraft into freighters, at a cost of around $200 million.
The Boeing 737 Max had a successful air show, with a new Indian carrier, Akasa Air, placing an order for 72 737 Max 8 and 737 Max 8-200 aircraft. Orders for the 737 Max have flowed in since the Federal Aviation Administration ungrounded the aircraft in November 2020 after 20 months following two fatal crashes.
Boeing did succeed in generating excitement for its newest and largest twin-engine aircraft, the Boeing 777X. Having first flown in January 2020, the Dubai Airshow marked the first-ever international trip for the 777X and the first time members of the public were allowed onboard.
The soon-to-be world’s largest twin-engine passenger plane is expected to be delivered in 2023, with six customers including the Dubai-based Emirates.
Boeing did not land any orders for the 777X while at the airshow but does hold more than 300 orders placed since the aircraft’s inception. The new flagship jet left Dubai mid-week for Qatar and Germany on its way to visit fellow customers Qatar Airways and Lufthansa, respectively.
A decision has not been made on whether Boeing will introduce a freighter variant of the 777X despite a red-hot market for cargo planes. But Boeing still has time to develop the aircraft as the A350 Freighter won’t see deliveries until around 2026, FlightGlobal reported.