Middle East airlines place billions of dollars of aircraft orders

17 November 2013

Emirates places largest order to date in civil aviation

Leading Gulf airlines Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways have revealed billions of dollars worth of new aircraft orders.

Deals valuing close to $150bn have been announced at the Dubai Airshow so far.

Dubai-based airline Emirates has placed orders with both Boeing and Airbus valued at an estimated $99bn. The order is said to be the largest ever placed in civil aviation.

The carrier’s order with Boeing comprises 150 Boeing 777X, including 35 Boeing 777-8Xs and 115 Boeing 777-9Xs.

It has also placed an order for 50 additional A380s from aircraft manufacturer Airbus. The airline took delivery of its first large A380s in 2008 and now has 39 A380s.

The Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad Airways has also placed a firm order for 56 new wide-body aircraft from US firm Boeing with options and purchase rights for a further 26. It is a deal said to be worth up to $25.2bn.

The Abu Dhabi-based airline’s deal includes 25 next-generation Boeing 777X aircraft, of which 17 are 777-9X and eight are 777-8X.

The airline also ordered 30 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners, an order that makes the airline the largest customer for the Dreamliner aircraft.

Etihad also placed an order worth $26.9bn with Airbus. The deal includes a firm order for 87 aircraft, plus purchase rights for a further 30.  Specifically the Abu Dhabi airline will be acquiring 50 A350 XWBs and 36 Airbus A320neo family aircraft.

Qatar Airways has also announced an order for up to 13 A330-200 freighter planes from Airbus. The deal comprises a firm order for five aircraft as well as eight additional A330-200F options, which pushes the value of the deal up to at least $2.8bn.

The new aircraft will expand the airline’s existing fleet of 3 A330-200Fs that entered operation earlier in 2013.

Speaking at a press conference, chief executive officer Akbar al-Baker said that Qatar Airways was likely to make use of the options for the additional aircraft very soon.

He added that the first delivery of two of the aircraft would be delivered in 2014, with three to be delivered in 2015.

Al-Baker also confirmed that the new cargo terminal at the long-awaited new Hamad International airport is due to “open in two weeks”.  The airport has been subject to numerous delays and the long-awaited passenger terminal has yet to be opened.

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