Dubai’s airlines, Emirates and flyDubai, have made substantial orders for Boeing jets totaling more than $50 billion during the Dubai Airshow.
These orders serve as a challenge to emerging regional competitors and reflect the growing competition to secure long-haul jets amid the anticipation of increased international travel.
Emirates, a government-owned airline, and its sister company flyDubai secured a combined order for 125 Boeing wide-body jets at the start of the airshow.
Notably, this order includes 55 Boeing 777-9 jets and 35 of the smaller 777-8 models, supporting Boeing’s 777X program, which has faced delays over the past five years.
Additionally, Emirates ordered five extra 787 Dreamliners, and flyDubai placed an order for 30 of the same aircraft in their first-ever long-haul order.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of both Emirates and flyDubai, emphasized that these orders represent significant investments and showcase Dubai’s commitment to the future of aviation.
Emirates expects to receive the 777X in 2025, aligning with Boeing’s latest target.
Dubai’s economy heavily relies on the aviation and tourism industries, as it lacks the abundant oil wealth of neighboring states. The latest Boeing orders also included 45 narrow-body 737 MAX aircraft for German-Turkish airline SunExpress, contributing to Boeing’s stock price rise in New York.
The Gulf region, with its favorable geographical location and major hubs in the UAE and Qatar, is a significant customer for larger wide-body jets. As Saudi Arabia seeks to establish its aviation footprint, and countries like Turkey and India aim to draw connecting traffic away from the Gulf, the stakes in the aviation industry continue to rise.
However, some industry experts express concerns about tight supply chains, as manufacturers struggle to meet the demand for new aircraft. Analysts caution that manufacturers are not only oversold but are also facing challenges in producing the aircraft they have already sold.
Despite the significant orders announced at the Dubai Airshow, the show was also overshadowed by the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza, which has led to increased demand for weapons and airspace closures.
Airlines like Royal Jordanian reported reduced traffic and longer routes due to the ongoing conflict, impacting ticket sales in the region.
Overall, these orders underscore the competitive landscape of the aviation industry in the Middle East and the challenges faced by manufacturers in meeting the demand for new aircraft.