At the opening of the Dubai Airshow, aircraft orders are coming in

A contract frenzy was announced on the first day of the Dubai Airshow. However, both Airbus and Boeing could struggle to meet orders due to a lack of manpower.

Massive orders for aircraft manufacturers were announced on the first day of the Dubai Airshow, November 13, 2023. AP - Jon Gambrell

By: RFI Follow


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Two rival manufacturers, Boeing and Airbus, are heading for a record 2023. At the opening of the Dubai Airshow, the American group Boeing announced the order of 90 B777X aircraft for 52 billion dollars for the Emirates company. But also 45 737 MAX planes for the German-Turkish company SunExpress for 5 billion dollars.

The low-cost carrier flydubai, which is also based in the emirate and currently only operates medium-haul aircraft, has announced an order for 30 Boeing 787-9 aircraft, for $8.8 billion at list price. Royal Air Maroc and Royal Jordan have also ordered four 787-9s and two 787-9s, respectively, according to Boeing.

For its part, Riyadh Air, Saudi Arabia's new airline, is also expected to announce a new order and it is again Boeing that could win, Airbus running out of available delivery slots.

Airbus, which opened the previous edition of the show in 2021 with a huge contract for 255 single-aisle A321 aircraft by four airlines, was much more discreet this year. However, the European aircraft manufacturer is "in discussions" with Turkish Airlines to sell it 240 aircraft, with another 115 to be delivered between 2026 and 2036.

These announcements underscore the sector's recovery from the pandemic. And to cope, the sector is hiring at a rapid pace. Among the profiles sought, specialists in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, data exploitation or new energies. While large groups should meet their recruitment targets, the situation is complicated for their subcontractors. Small businesses that were weakened during the pandemic and have struggled to get back on track ever since.

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