A successful Dubai Air Show for Airbus

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Aerospace manufacturer Airbus has left the Dubai Airshow with 408 orders (269 firm orders and 139 commitments) for its aircraft. The planemaker eclipsed its rival Boeing, which received 101 orders over the four-day show. Airbus benefited from a huge order on the opening day from Indigo Partners and also received its first order for the A350 Freighter.

Airbus Leaves Dubai Airshow With 408 Aircraft Orders
Airbus received 269 firm orders during the Dubai Airshow 2021. Photo: Getty Images

Airbus received 408 orders during the Dubai Airshow 2021, outperforming competitor Boeing by a considerable margin. Of Airbus’ 408 total orders, 269 were firm orders and 139 were commitments to purchase.

Airbus said in a statement,

“In the first major airshow since the COVID-19 pandemic struck two years ago, 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).”

Dubai Airshow, 2021, Aircraft
The planemaker took an order for 255 jets on the first day. Photo: Airbus

Airbus began the Dubai Airshow on Sunday with a massive order for 255 A321neo Family aircraft from equity firm Indigo Partners. The agreement included an order for 29 A321XLRs, Airbus’ extended-range A321-family plane expected to debut in service in 2023.

The Indigo Partners deal includes:

  • Wizz Air – 102 aircraft (75x A321neo + 27x A321XLR)
  • Frontier – 91 aircraft (A321neo)
  • Volaris – 39 aircraft (A321neo)
  • JetSMART – 23 aircraft (21x A321neo + 2x A321XLR)

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On the second day

The orders continued to come in for Airbus on the second day, with lessor Air Lease Corporation (ALC) committing to a deal for 111 aircraft. The commitment covered the full commercial range of Airbus aircraft. Notably, ALC became the first customer to order the Airbus A350 Freighter.

ALC’s order includes:

  • 25x Airbus A220-300
  • 55x Airbus A321neo
  • 20x Airbus A321XLR
  • 4x Airbus A330neo
  • 7x Airbus A350F
Airbus, ALC, A350 Freighter
ALC became the first customer to order the A350 freighter. Photo: Airbus

Airbus commented,

“The agreements covered the full range of commercial aircraft families, including a first commitment for the A350F freighter derivative.”

ALC and Airbus also announced “the first-ever joint ESG scheme in aircraft procurement  – a joint Sustainability Fund – to foster industry decarbonization solutions.

Further orders for Airbus

The European planemaker secured additional orders in the final days, including a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jazeera Airways for eight A321neos and 20 A320neos. Nigerian airline Ibom Air also became a first-time Airbus customer with a firm order for three A220-300s and seven A220-100s.

Airbus also received orders for two A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) from the United Arab Emirates Air Force (UAEAF) and a new export order for two A400M new generation airlifters from the Indonesian Ministry of Defence.

Upping production of single-aisle jets

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury has said the manufacturer plans to increase production of single-aisle aircraft to 65 single-aisle jets a month by summer 2023, up from 45 a month this quarter. The company is also exploring the possibility of upping this to 70 planes in 2024 and 75 in 2025.

Faury told Reuters,

“What happened (in Dubai) is important, because together with other prospects or deals to come, it gives substance and … evidence that the demand we see for rate 70, 75 will be sustained for many years.”

Ibom Air, Airbus A220, Nigeria
Nigerian carrier Ibom Air placed an order for ten Airbus A220s. Photo: Airbus

Airbus is expected to decide on production rates by the middle of 2022. Faury claims that recent talks with French and German suppliers have gone well.