As Boeing and Airbus get ready to square off at the Dubai Air Show, there have been multplie rumors about possible orders. It is no secret that this year has not been too nice on Airbus. They have been lagging Boeing on orders and deliveries, and their A380 jet has not received new orders in quite some time. Boeing has also been seeing a little bit of a lag in large aicraft orders, as most carriers continue to add 787s. In order to speculate what could happen at the Dubai Air Show, I went through most rumor websites, and some news outlets. As a disclaimer, none of these possibilities have been confirmed, but they are considered very likely.
I expect the Middle East’s largest carrier to place an order for around 20-30 A380s. These newer jets will replace the airline’s oldest jets, which would be around 15 years old when retired. The airline may also expand its order for 777Xs. For its sister carrier, flyDubai, the airline may add a few 737MAXs to their current pending order of 73 aircraft.
As mentioned in a previous article, it is strongly believed that Egyptair will order 787s. Although originally expected to order 6, the actual number may be higher. The airline will look to use these jets to replace their current widebody fleet. I suspect that the 787s will directly replace the A330s the airline currently flies. In the long run, it is possible they order A350s or 777MAX to replace their 777s.
The fledgling Saudi Arabian carrier may place an order for 30 Boeing jets as it plans to expand rapidly. Although still in the bidding process as of now, there is a possibility that the carrier uses the stage at Dubai to make a name for itself.
Although I could not find any iron-clad rumors about Indian carrier orders for Dubai, I want to bring to attention Indigo’s intent to start long haul operations. The airline wants to obtain widebody jets, and they could well order Airbus A330neos. It would be a major shock for me if they ordered any Boeing aircraft, as they have an all Airbus fleet and hundreds of planes on back order.
I think the Dubai Air Show will be a bit quiet in terms of aircraft orders. The biggest event will be Emirates’ unveiling of their new 777 First class. This will probably set the tone for the airline’s refurbished (or completely overhauled) A380 first class. I would love to be surprised and see shocking developments (like the end of the air blockade to Qatar) or some massive order from an unmentioned carrier. Personally, I love surprises (when they don’t directly involve me), so we will have to see what happens in the coming week. I expect to see a lot of local press coverage, and some global coverage. Stay tuned to see who orders what in the Dubai Air Show!
What do you think? Who else will order aircraft at Dubai? Will anyone other than Boeing and Airbus receive major orders? Let us know!
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