The 15th Dubai Airshow opened on November 12, 2017, with $17 billion worth of deals being made within the first four hours of the show. Most notably, Dubai-based Emirates signed a deal with Boeing for 40 planes and the UAE Air Force ordered 60 F-16s.

Boeing champions the first deal of the show

Dubai Airshow 2017 opened with a bang, as the $15.1 billion worth deal was signed within the first few hours of the show. Emirates signed commitment to purchase 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners.

Emirates, the world's largest Boeing 777 operator, will also be the first to receive the new 777X in 2020. According to a statement by Boeing, the selection of 787-10 “complements [the airline’s] 777 fleet with a medium twin-aisle airplane that offers 25 percent better fuel efficiency per seat and emissions than the airplanes it replaces”.

“Emirates’ orders today will be delivered from 2022, taking the airline well into the 2030,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive Emirates airline and Group. “Some of these will be replacements so that we maintain a young and efficient fleet, and others will power our future network growth. We see the 787 as a great complement to our 777 and A380 fleet, providing us with more flexibility to serve a range of destinations as we develop our global route network.”

Among other deals made at Dubai, Azerbaijan Airlines announced an approximately $1.9 billion worth deal for five Boeing 787-8 passenger planes and a preliminary agreement for two freighter wide-bodies, with the specific model to be chosen between 747 or 777 at a further date.

“Ordering additional 787 Dreamliner airplanes will greatly expand our airline's capabilities, allowing us to serve new destinations and carry more passengers,” said AZAL President Jahangir Askerov. “We are delighted to expand our partnership with The Boeing Company, which has been a reliable partner in supplying modern airplanes, and helping us operate and maintain the jets.”

Defense deals take off with 60 Lockheed Martins

Some immense deals were signed in defense sector as well. The UAE Ministry of Defense ordered 60 Lockheed Martin F-16s in addition to other deals with Abu Dhabi Aviation, Thales, Augusta Westland and Global Aerospace Logistics. The value of this order book is $1.77 billion.

Gulf Air set with MRO agreement

Gulf Air, the Kingdom of Bahrain’s national carrier, and CFM International signed an agreement for the purchase of 58 LEAP-1A engines to power 17 Airbus A321neo and 12 A320neo aircraft and an additional 7 spare engines to support the operation. The firm engine order is valued at approximately $1.9 billion at list price, including a long-term service agreement. The aircraft order was announced in January 2016.

To support its fleet, the airline has also signed a 10-year Rate Per Flight Hour (RPFH) agreement.   Throughout the term of the agreement, CFM guarantees maintenance costs for all of Gulf Air’s LEAP-1A engines on a dollar per engine flight hour basis.

Gulf Air has been a CFM customer since 1992 and currently operates a fleet of 16 Airbus A320ceo aircraft powered by CFM56-5B engines. The airline is currently awaiting 17 Airbus A321neo and 12 A320neo aircraft alongside 10 Boeing wide-bdoy aircraft – due for delivery commencing in early 2018.

“CFM International is a key and longstanding partner for Gulf Air, with whom the airline has worked closely for over 2 decades,” said Gulf Air Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Captain Waleed Abdulhameed Al Alalawi. “Our selection of this engine for our incoming Airbus aircraft is significant, reflecting the reliability and expertise afforded by CFM products. This is integral to our ongoing strategic development and I am pleased to call CFM International Gulf Air’s partner of choice as we move ahead with our long term plans to shape the future trajectory of our carrier.”

The Dubai Airshow is taking place on November 12-16, 2017 at DWC, Dubai Airshow Site and is open to trade visitors from within the aerospace industry. According to the organizers, over 72,500 trade visitors and 1200 exhibitors are expected across the event’s five-day run.