Emirates Airlines signed on Tuesday November 19th an order for 50 Airbus A350 XWB passenger planes, worth $16billion, on the sidelines of Dubai Airshow 2019 which is being at Dubai World Central.
The deal will see the first aircraft delivered in May 2023 and reflects Emirates’ desire to move towards a new configuration featuring Premium Economy cabins.
It was signed by Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates’ Chairman and Chief Executive, and Guillaume Faury, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus.
“Our business model is to provide efficient and comfortable air transport to and from our Dubai hub, and today, this $16billion deal reflects our confidence in the future of the UAE aviation sector,” Sheikh Ahmed said after the signing.
In addition, Air Arabia also signed a deal with Airbus on Tuesday worth $14billion to purchase a total of 120 new aircraft.
The Dubai Airshow 2019 gives exclusive access to one of the world’s largest meeting places for the aerospace industry, with exhibits and aircraft from over 1,300 suppliers to explore. It is set to welcome more than 87,000 trade visitors.
The event was officially opened on Sunday by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces.
On the first day, representatives from 117 countries were present with exhibitors reporting a lively opening to this year’s event. They praised the global reach of the airshow and welcomed it as an opportunity to build partnerships globally.
Seattle Aviation Solutions (SAS) President Kirby Smith said the company had a busy first day on its stand. “This show is not just about the Middle East, it is a big show for worldwide, you make connections that are not necessarily just for this region, but all of our businesses. We are based in Dubai and the United States, so it is important for us to have a presence here.”
Michele van Akelijen, Managing Director of Airshow organisers Tarsus F&E LLC Middle East, said: “Our opening days have once again shown that the Dubai Airshow is not only the place the aerospace industry comes to do business, but also where it comes to innovate.”
Lockheed Martin’s Middle East Chief Executive, Robert Harward, highlighted the importance of the facility’s work, saying: “Lockheed Martin’s biggest investment in the UAE is in its human capital.”
The event also focused on green initiatives aimed at answering environmental concerns in the aerospace industry, with Etihad Airways and Boeing unveiling plans for a world-first ‘Greenliner’. Etihad also announced the operation of a special Boeing 787 ‘eco flight’ to Brussels that will take place during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January 2020.