Boeing Makes a Splash in Dubai on Opening Day of Airshow; Airbus Faces Delays

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Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) kicked off the Dubai Airshow with a substantial surge in orders, headlined by a remarkable $52 billion commitment from Emirates Airline for its upcoming 777X model. The announcement caused Boeing’s shares to rise by 3.3% in premarket US trading. Emirates, already the largest buyer of the twin-engine 777X, confirmed the purchase of an additional 90 of these models, along with five more 787s.

The US aviation giant also secured a significant narrowbody order, with Turkey’s SunExpress expressing interest in up to 90 of Boeing’s popular 737 Max jets. Additionally, EgyptAir committed to 18 of the 737 Max models. Boeing further expanded its order book with Royal Jordanian and FlyDubai, gaining commitments for the 787 widebody.

Boeing’s commercial chief, Stan Deal, described the order flow in Dubai as “pretty darn big” and expressed optimism about potential additional deals, especially with China moving closer to a substantial agreement for the 737 Max.

On the other hand, Airbus faced a more subdued day at the airshow, securing a midsize A220 narrowbody order from AirBaltic and awaiting a major aircraft order confirmation from Turkish Airlines. Talks with Emirates, however, stalled due to complications surrounding Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc’s engines.

Emirates President, Tim Clark, emphasized the airline’s robust demand, stating, “If we had those aircraft we ordered today in place tomorrow, we’d fill them up. It’s as strong as that.”

Boeing’s impressive first-day performance at the airshow echoes a trend seen throughout the year, where airlines rushed to secure delivery slots amid increasing scarcity. However, some industry experts caution that not all these deals may come to fruition, with potential deferrals into later timeframes.

While Boeing basks in its success, Airbus faces challenges, especially with the limited availability of delivery slots and negotiations with Rolls becoming more challenging under its new CEO. Despite earlier indications of a substantial order from Turkish Airlines, Airbus awaits the finalization of details, and Emirates remains elusive on the first day.

Boeing’s optimism extends beyond the Dubai Airshow, with the company making strides in regaining the trust of major customers like Emirates. The Gulf carrier’s commitment to 205 planes of the 777X provides a significant boost to the program after years of delays. Additionally, Boeing anticipates positive developments in talks with China, with optimism surrounding discussions between Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden scheduled in San Francisco later this week.

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