Dubai Airshow 2023 Day 1 Roundup
Day one of the Dubai Airshow 2023 has been a bustling hub of activity, marked by significant deals and strategic partnerships. The show, which runs from November 13-17, is renowned as the largest aerospace and defense event in the Middle East and has attracted global attention for the substantial aircraft orders expected to be announced. Boeing emerged as a big winner on the first day, securing several major orders, while Airbus and airBaltic expanded their existing partnerships.
Sun Express starts the Air show
Sun Express’s order for 90 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, including 45 firm orders and 45 options, was a major highlight of the day. This order represents a significant expansion for the Turkey-based low-cost carrier and aligns with its ambitious growth strategy. CEO Max Kownatzki’s announcement underlined the airline’s goal to double its fleet by 2033, with a particular focus on the newest 737 MAX plane, the 737-10, which offers up to 230 seats. This order is a testament to Sun Express’s confidence in the 737 MAX’s capabilities and its commitment to enhancing capacity and fuel efficiency.
The airline’s operational success, demonstrated by flying nearly 11 million passengers across 175 routes to 30 countries in 2022, is expected to be further bolstered by this new order. The addition of the 737-10 to its fleet is particularly strategic, allowing Sun Express to strengthen its role as a tourism ambassador for Türkiye and expand its network with more fuel-efficient and environmentally sustainable aircraft. This decision not only enhances the airline’s operational capabilities but also positions it for continued success in the competitive aviation market.
Emirates’ Significant Widebody Order
Emirates’ announcement of a substantial order worth $52 billion for an additional 95 widebodies was another major event of the day. This order significantly expands Emirates’ total order book to 295 aircraft, split between various models including the 777-9s, 777-8s, and 787s. This strategic decision underlines Emirates’ commitment to expanding its global route map and supporting Dubai’s economic agenda D33, as outlined by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, with plans to connect 400 cities to Dubai’s foreign trade map over the next decade.
The airline’s Chairman and Chief Executive, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, highlighted the role these new aircraft will play in achieving Emirates’ expansion goals. By the early 2030s, Emirates expects its fleet to be around 350-strong, significantly enhancing its global connectivity. This fleet expansion is not just about increasing numbers; it represents Emirates’ focus on modernization, efficiency, and customer experience, positioning the airline to meet the growing demand for long-haul travel.
The restructuring of the Dreamliner variants within this order, with Emirates now planning to take delivery of 35 787s, including both 787-8s and 787-10s, reflects a strategic shift in the airline’s long-term planning. This diversification of the fleet with different widebody models allows Emirates to optimize its network and adapt to various market demands. The order signifies Emirates’ confidence in the future of aviation and its commitment to maintaining a leading position in the industry.
flyDubai’s first foray into widebody aircraft
flydubai’s announcement of an $11 billion order for 30 787-9 Dreamliners marked a historic moment for the airline, as it ventured into operating widebody aircraft for the first time. This major expansion will see the Dreamliners complementing flydubai’s existing fleet of 79 Boeing 737s and the 137 more that are on order. Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stan Deal emphasized the suitability of the 787-9 for flydubai’s operational needs, highlighting the Dreamliner’s alignment with the carrier’s mission to open up longer-range routes and add capacity across its network.
The decision to incorporate the 787-9 Dreamliner into its fleet is a significant strategic move for flydubai. This investment in widebody aircraft enables the airline to extend its operational reach and offer new services, marking a transformation in its market position and competitive edge. The “Dreamliner effect,” as described by Deal, refers to the unique passenger experience offered by the aircraft, including more comfort and a feeling of being more refreshed upon arrival. This enhancement in passenger experience aligns with flydubai’s commitment to customer satisfaction and service excellence.
EgyptAir Expands Fleet with First Boeing 737 MAX Order
EgyptAir, Egypt’s flag carrier, has made a significant move in its fleet expansion by ordering its first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft at Dubai Airshow 2023. The airline has entered into a lease agreement with Air Lease Corporation (ALC) for a total of 18 Boeing 737 MAXs. These deliveries, scheduled between 2025 and 2026, mark a new chapter for EgyptAir, as it integrates the advanced 737 MAX into its fleet for a lease period of at least 12 years.
airBaltic orders the first Airbus order of the airshow
airBaltic’s incremental order of 30 A220-300s further solidified its position as the largest Airbus A220 customer in Europe. This recent order brings the total firm orders to 80 aircraft, underlining airBaltic’s commitment to the A220 model. As the launch customer for the type in 2016, airBaltic has successfully phased out other aircraft to operate an exclusive A220-300 fleet. Currently operating 44 A220-300s, the airline has already performed 150,000 flights with the type and anticipates the arrival of its 50th aircraft next year. Martin Gauss, President and CEO of airBaltic, expressed the significance of the A220-300 in the airline’s operations, highlighting its integral role in the international success story of airBaltic.
Royal Jordanian Orders Four More Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners
Royal Jordanian’s announcement of an order for four 787-9 Dreamliners, in addition to reconfirming a previous order for two 787-9s, brought its total 787-9 backlog to six. This order reaffirms Royal Jordanian’s commitment to providing exceptional travel experiences and aligns with its strategy of fleet modernization. Vice Chairman and CEO Samer Majali expressed confidence in the Dreamliner’s technology in elevating the airline’s operational capabilities, emphasizing its role in enhancing fuel efficiency, sustainability, and passenger comfort.
The carrier also signed an agreement with Boeing to refurbish its 787-8s, extending the lifespan of its current fleet. This decision reflects a prudent approach to fleet management, balancing new acquisitions with the optimization of existing assets. The updated order and refurbishment plan are part of Royal Jordanian’s broader strategy to modernize its fleet, improve operational efficiency, and offer a superior passenger experience.
Royal Air Maroc Confirms Order for Two Boeing 787 Dreamliners
Closing the major announcements, Royal Air Maroc confirmed an order for two Boeing 787-9s, adding to its existing fleet of nine Dreamliners. The order signifies the airline’s intent to expand its fleet and long-haul network in the short term, responding to favorable market conditions in 2023. Chairman and CEO Abdelhamid Addou outlined the carrier’s ambitious plans to significantly increase its fleet size by 2037, highlighting a forward-thinking approach to meet the evolving demands of the aviation industry.
A Magnificent Start to Dubai Airshow 2023
The first day of Dubai Airshow 2023 has set an energetic and forward-looking tone for the aviation industry. With significant orders and strategic decisions from major carriers like Emirates, flydubai, airBaltic, Royal Jordanian, and Royal Air Maroc, the event has already showcased the dynamic nature of the aviation market. As the airshow continues, what are your thoughts on these deals? Tell us in the comments section below.