We all know long long months of COVID-19 and all possible lockdown and restrictions. First major airshow since the COVID-19 pandemic struck two years ago. What and how happens now, in a new normal? What is the state of mind of customers? How the aviation industry lives this unprecedent sityuation? Some answers are quite clear and obvious - customers demonstrated confidence in the recovery of the aviation sector and also in Airbus by placing orders and commitments totalling 408 aircraft (269 firm orders and 139 commitments). The agreements covered the full range of commercial aircraft families, including a first commitment for the A350F freighter derivative.
At a pre-show event, Airbus launched its latest global market forecast outlining progressively shifting demand from fleet growth to accelerated retirement of older, less fuel-efficient aircraft resulting in a need for some 39,000 new-build passenger and freighter aircraft. Of these,15,250 aircraft (around 40%) are for replacements.
With the UAE Universal expo showcasing themes on Mobility, Sustainability and Opportunity, on the eve of the airshow Airbus lit up the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, by displaying its Company purpose - “Pioneering sustainable aerospace for a safe and united world” - on the façade of this iconic Dubai landmark at a time when connecting with people and cultures has never been more important.
On the opening day of the show, Indigo Partners portfolio airlines placed a firm order for 255 A321neo Family aircraft, including 29 XLR. The order breakdown is as follows: Wizz Air 102 aircraft (75 A321neo + 27 A321XLR); Frontier 91 aircraft (A321neo); Volaris 39 aircraft (A321neo); JetSMART 23 aircraft (21 A321neo + 2 A321XLR).
The second day saw Air Lease Corporation sign a commitment for 111 aircraft covering the full range of aircraft families including the new A350 Freighter (25 A220-300s, 55 A321neos, 20 A321XLRs, four A330neos, seven A350Fs). Along with the orders, ALC and Airbus announced the first ever joint ESG scheme in aircraft procurement - a joint Sustainability Fund - to foster industry decarbonisation solutions.
On the third day, Jazeera Airways committed to 28 A321neos and Nigeria’s Ibom Air became a new Airbus customer with a firm order for 10 A220s.
On the defence side, Airbus sold two additional Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) to the United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defence, and secured a new export order for two A400M new generation airlifters from the Indonesian Ministry of Defence.
At the show, Airbus also highlighted its ambition to play a leading role in developing innovative and sustainable solutions for urban air mobility, leveraging partnerships and technologies to bring a product to the market by 2025.
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