Planners land contracts at Dubai Airshow

DUBAI, Nov. 16 (Reuters) – Global aerospace companies have secured provisional or firm orders for more than 400 planes at the Dubai Airshow, building on signs of a recovery from a shattering global pandemic industry profits.

After large orders for narrow-body aircraft and a new freighter earlier this week, Airbus (AIR.PA) has reached an interim agreement for up to 30 A320neo narrow-body aircraft from Kuwaiti company Jazeera Airways, while Boeing ended a recent shortage of orders in India.

Most of the planes ordered were narrow-body models most in demand by low-cost carriers like European Wizz Air (WIZZ.L) and Boeing’s latest customer, Indian startup Akasa.

“I think this is a sign of recovery. The second half of the decade in which most of these planes will be delivered is a very long time away, so it is reasonable to expect that at this point, traffic exceeds pre-COVID levels, ”he added. said independent aviation advisor Bertrand Grabowski.

“It is also reasonable to expect those who emerge from the crisis with lower costs and higher efficiency to win,” he added.

A major question mark hangs over Asia, previously the engine of demand for new airliners, executives said, while some worried about the concentration of orders among a few carriers.

Airlines and suppliers have nonetheless grasped signs of a fragile recovery, using the airshow advertising deadline to try to secure last-minute concessions.

The deal between Airbus and Kuwait Jazeera comes after the president of the airline, Marwan Boodai, told Reuters this month that the low-cost carrier aims to buy up to $ 2 billion in jet planes.

Akasa Air, backed by billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, has finalized an order for 72 Boeing (BA.N) 737 MAX jets, which will help the US aircraft manufacturer regain lost ground in one of the fastest growing markets in the world. Read more

Boeing is also counting on the order to provide further support for the MAX, which remains anchored in China after a nearly two-year security ban that was lifted in the West late last year.

The deal includes a high-density 200-seat version of the Boeing 737 MAX known as the 8200, making Akasa the layout’s second major customer after Ireland’s Ryanair (RYA.I), which is struggling with a dispute with Boeing on the prices of the new planes.

The 8200’s configuration is suitable for ultra-low-cost carriers focused on reducing costs per seat, although industry sources have said Akasa would also have to fight for competitive airport costs to be successful in the market. choppy air from India.

Nigerian carrier Ibom Air, owned by the Akwa Ibom state government, has confirmed an agreement for 10 Airbus A220s.


Widebody demand at the base of major Gulf travel hubs like Dubai and Doha, whose carrier Qatar Airways is missing from this year’s show amid persistent diplomatic injuries in the region following a recent rift between Gulf states, remains low as international travel slowly recovers from pandemic restrictions.

“Once we see the easing of borders, entry requirements and all the other extras with people traveling these days… then you will see the rebound in the countries we are flying to now,” the president said. from the Emirates, Tim Clark.

The Emirates executive urged Boeing to provide firm dates for its delayed 777X, saying the uncertainty of certification has upended the carrier’s growth plans. Boeing did not immediately comment.

Emirates is the largest customer of the previous version of the 777 as well as the Airbus A380 superjumbo, whose production is halted due to weak sales.

Clark, who has been among the A380’s greatest champions, has predicted the double-decker aircraft will prove its mettle when travel recovers from the COVID-19 crisis. Some other industry leaders are seeing a move towards smaller, more flexible jets.

As supply chain issues hit manufacturing around the world, Clark said Airbus was unable to give a date for “even the last” delivery of the A380 that was scheduled for the mid-December.

He also noted that labor shortages were hurting the industry.

An Airbus spokesperson said: “All deliveries are agreed with the customer and it is the customer’s privilege to announce them.”

Reporting by Tim Hepher, Alexander Cornwell, Aditi Shah, Jamie Freed Editing by Keith Weir, Bernadette Baum and Bill Berkrot

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