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Boeing, Airbus announce Dubai Air Show orders

By Hpanchal on November 16, 2011

The Dubai Air Show was lucrative for both Boeing and Airbus, with both aircraft manufacturers reporting sales in the double-digit billions. It was Emirates Airline’s order of 50 Boeing 777-300ERs that really had people talking, however.

The Dubai-based carrier’s order, valued at $18 billion, marks the single largest aircraft order in Boeing’s history, company officials said. Emirates also has the option to purchase 20 more of the twin-aisle commercial aircraft.

Emirates CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum called the 777s the “backbone” of his carrier’s fleet. He expects to deploy the extended-range version of the aircraft on international routes, which will be announced in the future. “This order supports our fleet expansion and reiterates our commitment to operating a modern fleet for the benefit of our passengers and to ensure operational efficiency as well,” he said in a statement.

Other key orders for Boeing included the sale of two 777Fs to Qatar Airways and six 787-8s to Oman Air.

Airbus also fared well at the Dubai Air Show, gaining 211 orders and commitments valued at $20.5 billion. The A320neo was the big winner for the European manufacturer, with sales of this aircraft totaling $13.7 billion. In addition to these orders, Airbus signed 76 MoUs worth $6.8 billion for the A320neo.

Qatar and Florida-based Spirit Airlines were Airbus’ largest customers, a spokesman for the aircraft manufacturer said. Qatar placed orders for 50 A320neos and five A380s while Spirit Airlines inked a deal to acquire 45 A320neos and 30 A320s. These orders and commitments are valued at $6.4 billion and $6.7 billion, respectively.

Aviation Capital Group executives also revealed plans to expand their fleet with the A320neo, purchasing 30 of the aircraft. “With the neo, we are able to offer our customers a tool that cuts fuel burn by 15 percent,” Aviation Capital Group CEO Stephen Hannahs said in a statement. “There’s no doubt that this aircraft will be snapped up by operators worldwide.”

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