|Published: November 2017|
Dubai Airshow 2017 opened its doors at DWC, Dubai Airshow Site today, Sunday November 12, to a record number of exhibitors, aircraft on display, visitors – and an array of ground-breaking deals.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, opened the 15th Dubai Airshow before taking a walking tour around the 645,000 square metre site, pausing to speak with several exhibitors.
He was accompanied by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.
His Highness then joined officials from Emirates airline and Boeing to witness the signing of a US$15.1 billion commitment to purchase 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners. Emirates is already the world’s largest Boeing 777 operator and the airline will be first to receive the new 777X in 2020.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive Emirates airline and Group, said: “Emirates’ orders today will be delivered from 2022, taking the airline well into the 2030s. Some of these will be replacements so that we maintain a young and efficient fleet, and others will power our future network growth. We see the 787 as a great complement to our 777 and A380 fleet, providing us with more flexibility to serve a range of destinations as we develop our global route network.”
“It has always been Emirates’ strategy to invest in the most advanced and efficient aircraft, and today’s orders reflect that. Today’s announcement also speaks to our confidence in the future of aviation in the UAE and the region.”
The 787-10 Dreamliner is the newest and longest member of the super-efficient 787 family. Boeing says it offers 10 percent better fuel and emissions than competitive aircraft in the sector, and some 25 per cent better fuel efficiency per seat and emissions than the aircraft it is replacing.
Emirates also unveiled what it’s branding a “game-changer” in the first class travel market. The Dubai-based carrier’s upgraded 777 fleet will see the introduction of the world’s first fully enclosed private suites, described by president Sir Tim Clark as akin to “a six-star hotel room” in the sky.
Inspired by Mercedes Benz, the new six-suite first class cabin features leather seating, hi-tech control panels, mood lighting and floor-to-ceiling doors, as well as face-to-face screen-based cabin crew contact, food delivery hatches to protect client privacy and virtual ‘windows’ in the central suites of the 1-1-1 configuration.
The first aircraft in the fleet, flown into Dubai Airshow from Seattle for the unveiling, will shortly begin flying on the airline’s Brussels and Geneva routes, with plans to expand throughout the network as an additional seven or eight refurbished 777-300ERs are completed, before the new look is adapted for the upcoming fleet of next generation 777x.
The UAE Ministry of Defence revealed an order book of more than US$1.77 billion, including the purchase of 60 Lockheed Martin F-16s. The order book includes new deals for international and local companies, including Abu Dhabi Aviation, Thales, Augusta Westland and Global Aerospace Logistics.
Dubai-based flydubai unveiled its brand-new Boeing 737 MAX 8, the first of 76 ordered from Boeing, all of which will be delivered by 2023. Six of these will join the flydubai fleet by the end of 2017.
flydubai Chairman, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said: “[This] is another milestone in Dubai’s aviation success story. The efficiency and enhanced performance this aircraft promises is going to play an important role in the new chapter of flydubai’s growth strategy.” The new Boeing 737 MAX 8s will initially be deployed on the furthest points on flydubai’s network, including Bangkok, Prague, Yekaterinburg and Zanzibar.
Michele van Akelijen, Managing Director of show organisers Tarsus F&E LLC Middle East, said, “The Dubai Airshow has always been the place for the industry to meet and do business, and to see new product launches and industry innovations. The first few hours of 2017 have shown demonstrated this to still be the case and we look forward to what the rest of the week will bring.”
More than 72,500 trade visitors and 1200 exhibitors are expected across the event’s five-day run, representing the entire spectrum of the aerospace industry.