Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the 18th edition of Dubai Airshow showcased the unflagging commitment of the aviation, aerospace and defence industries to sustained technological advancements, with more than $101 billion in deals announced through the week.
It also welcomed over 135,000 attendees, witnessing a remarkable 30% increase in footfall compared to the previous edition. The next edition will take place in 2025 at Dubai World Central (DWC), Al Maktoum airport.
Some of the most notable deals at the mega event this year included Emirates placing an order worth $52 billion for 95 additional wide-body aircraft – including Boeing 777-9s, 777-8s, and 787s – on the opening day. Powering the airline’s growth plans, it also placed an order worth $6 billion for 15 additional Airbus A350-900 jets during the airshow.
Ethiopian Airlines Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for 11 additional Airbus A350-900s to be added to its existing fleet, confirming its position as Africa’s biggest A350 customer. It also announced an order of 11 787-9 Dreamliners and 20 737 MAX 8 aircraft, with options for 15 and 21 additional jets, respectively. Latvian airline airBaltic also confirmed an incremental order for an additional 30 A220-300s, which will make it the largest A220 customer in Europe, and Boeing and flydubai announced an agreement for the purchase of 30 787-9 Dreamliners, among other significant deals.
Tawazun Council, the independent government entity that works closely with the Ministry of Defence and security agencies to maximise value through acquisition systems, signed Dhs23.06 billion worth of contracts with local and international companies. These included a deal with HALCON to procure ammunition worth Dhs2.14 billion and two contracts with International Golden Group, the first an Dhs338 million contract to provide technical support for aircraft and the second for the purchase of engines and aircraft parts put at Dhs13 million.
With an increased focus on space and future technologies at the 18th edition of Dubai Airshow, the UAE Space Agency used the event as a platform to unveil the timeline of the journey of the MBR Explorer, the spacecraft for the Emirates Mission to Asteroid Belt (EMA). Other key announcements include an MoU between the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) and EANAN, a UAE technology company leading the next evolutionary step in transportation through advanced air mobility (AAM) solutions. Meanwhile, Dubai Airports, operator of the world’s biggest international hub, announced a milestone partnership with Intelak Hub, the premier innovation incubator dedicated to the travel, tourism, and aviation sector in Dubai.
Earlier, flydubai announced during the Dubai Airshow, its plans for a purpose-built $190 million Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in Dubai South by 2026.
The signing ceremony with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Aerospace Hub (MBRAH) was attended by Khalifa Al Zaffin, Executive Chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation and Dubai South; Tahnoon Saif, CEO of MBRAH; and Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai.
The construction of the new hangar and workshop will commence next year and is expected to conclude by the last quarter of 2026.
Commenting on the new announcement, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of flydubai, said, “I am proud to announce the plans for flydubai’s state-of-the-art MRO facility in Dubai South. This milestone reaffirms our commitment to operational excellence, right here in Dubai South’s dynamic ecosystem. This will bring flydubai greater control over its maintenance requirements as it continues to grow its fleet and capabilities with a firm focus on the future.”
Khalifa Al Zaffin, CEO of Dubai Aviation City Cooperation and Dubai South, said, “flydubai’s new facility in Dubai South reflects our commitment to enhancing the ecosystem that contributes to the growth and sustainability of the aviation industry. This partnership reaffirms Dubai’s position as a global aviation hub and reinforces our shared vision of providing world-class aviation services to our partners.”
Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, said, “Dubai has emerged as a thriving aviation hub that fosters connectivity, innovation, growth and setting benchmarks for the global aviation industry. The spirit of Dubai is in our DNA and we are proud to announce today the plans for our MRO facility which represents a new chapter in our journey.
At Airbus’ pre-pandemic list prices, the order would exceed $15 billion, although major deals typically see manufacturers offer significant discounts to buyers. The company did not provide any details on the sale price.
Boeing Co said it plans to cut its monthly 737 aircraft production by nearly 20 per cent in the wake of two deadly crashes, signaling it does not expect aviation authorities to allow the plane back in the air anytime soon.
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