Dubai Air Show 2017. Dubai World Central (DWC), UAE, November 12, 2017. The Dubai Air Show started with an announcement from Boeing and Emirates of a new commitment by Emirates to order 40 of the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, the largest variant of the Dreamliner series. The deal amounts to USD15.1B according to the Air Show news page.
Deliveries of the B787-10 for Emirates will commence in 2022 according to the same report.
Here’s my take of this deal.
What it means for Boeing?
This is a big win for Boeing and for the Dreamliner program, notching ahead of the Airbus 350 competitor. Meanwhile, this pushes the orders for the Boeing 787-10 to 211.
Last month, Boeing booked an additional 19 orders from Singapore Airlines, on top of SQ’s previous orders of 30. Deliveries will start next year.
While this number of backlog, on top of what it has for the smaller variants, will be a challenge for Boeing, overall, I think this will be a good problem. It’s an indication of confidence of major airlines to the B878-10 program.
What it means for Emirates?
Emirates had previously cancelled its order of 70 Airbus 350 (-900 and -1000 variants), the biggest cancellation Airbus ever had. Since then, Emirates had been mulling as to order/reorder the Dreamliner or the Airbus 350. One thing is for a certainty, it needs an aircraft to serve destinations that are too big for the Airbus 380 or the Boeing 777. The Dreamliner, apparently, is the answer. The 787-10, according to Boeing, can carry up to 330 passengers in a 2-class configuration. Historically, Emirates operated both a 2-class and 3-class configured 777s and 380s, even 330s. So it’s likely that Emirates is targeting a combination of 2-class and 3-class configurations. My guess is that Emirates will be deploying the Dreamliners to destinations previously served by the Boeing 777 and the smaller A330s. It also allows it to expand to smaller cities in the US, where the A380 will be too huge for the traffic. Additionally, it can serve to complement what’s already being served by the bigger aircraft to provide more flexibility to travelers.
With the sheer amount of jobs that Emirates is bringing to the US, what’s keeping the US from preventing the airline to expand its presence there?
Looking back to the same Air Show back in 2013, this deal is actually much less than the total amount placed by Emirates back then. We will see in the coming days of the air show.
What it means for Airbus?
As regards the Airbus 380, Airbus’ relationship with Emirates is definitely there. In fact, Emirates may order more A380s during this event. Maybe not. Emirates is keen on maintaining the aircraft and Airbus is under pressure to keep the program alive. On the Airbus 350, while it’s a sad day for the program, I guess Emirates’ interest on the Airbus 350 is not non-existent. It’s neighbors Etihad and Qatar ordered both aircraft.
What it means for us?
Not much. As a traveler, we see the end product, and not the negotiations that resulted to that product. Very few of us would care about the type of aircraft we’re flying with. But if Boeing and Airbus are true to their claims of better passenger comfort – due to higher cabin pressure and humidity levels, then that allows for us to experience less jetlag than the older predecessors. This is especially useful for long haul flights across wide timezones. Both the 787 and the A350 also have larger windows than previous planes.
Assuming the Airbus A380 program still goes on, and I hope it does, and with Emirates getting more of it in the future, then more and more of the flying public get to experience the smooth and quiet superjumbo. Though some are more aware than others. The Boeing 747-8I is an equally beautiful double-decker. But with only a few operators ordering it, experiencing this beauty can be quite elusive. With Emirates flying the A380 to almost any major city, it’s only a matter of time before each flyer can experience this mild beast.
What to look forward to:
The Dubai Air Show is only on its second day today. A lot of things can still happen. Back in 2013, Etihad placed over US$50 value of orders, split between Boeing and Airbus. Qatar is not likely to participate this year due to obvious reasons. It may have to wait until the next Air Show, perhaps next year in Singapore.
With the travel and freighter demand still growing steadily within the Asian region, it’s possible that there will be high profile orders from airlines with deep pockets. Airlines will want to operate the best and latest flying machines. Who knows, maybe something newsworthy will make it to the headlines of mainstream industry media in the coming days.
We will see…
Francis is an aviation fan. He loves to travel for the flying part of it and to plane spot during stops. He likes to express his views about some aviation industry news, from the perspective of a regular traveller. Finally, he writes anything that he thinks can help others make the most out of their flights.