Boeing Leads in New Orders at Start of Air Show in Dubai

Boeing Co and Airbus SAS have both secured new record orders during the Dubai Air Show’s first day, with Emirates accounting for the majority of the new purchases as it penned deals worth over $100 billion for aircraft that is wide-body.

Boeing held the early lead at the expo that is biennial, with a signed contract with Etihad Airways PJSC for the new wide-body 777X along with more of its 787 Dreamliners.

Emirates then purchased 150 777X worth close to $76 billion and an option to purchase 50 more.

Afterwards, Airbus confirmed it had agreed to a deal with the largest airline from Middle East for the purchase of 50 A380 jumbos with a value of $23 billion.

The first day of the air show reasserts the position of the Middle East as the aviation industry’s global growth engine.

Qatar Airways joined in on ordering when it purchased 50 of Boeing’s 777X airliners, while FlyDubai the low-cost airline penned a contract to purchase 100 737 Max.

Prior to today, Emirates was the largest operator of the 777 and A380.

Etihad, which has a transaction valued with Boeing at $25.2 billion, will become the Dreamliner’s premiere operator with 71 aircraft ordered. James Hogan the CEO said he might have additional orders at the event. In all, Hogan has ordered 72 aircraft from Boeing, including one 777 freighter.

Hogan unveiled later another order with Airbus at over $27 billion, which included 50 wide-body A350 along with 36 A320 single-aisle family jetliners.

Three out of the first four customers for Boeing’s 777X are located in the Middle East, with only Deutsche Lufthansa the exception for a total of 259 commitments and orders.

The aircraft became formally introduced on Saturday along with price. The 777X-9, the larger of the models, which is due in 2020, will be $377.2 million, while the 777X-8, the smaller version will debut 18 months after the larger version and will cost $349.8 million. Boeing said its production on the aircraft would begin in 2017.

More orders are expected from the airlines present at the air show and underscore the increase in air travel around the world and especially in the Middle East, which is becoming a connecting hub for many international air carriers.