Dubai carriers threw down the gauntlet to emerging regional rivals with more than $50 billion of Boeing jet orders on Monday, as competition intensifies to secure dwindling supplies of long-haul jets and anticipate growth in international travel.
Government-owned Emirates and sister airline flyDubai secured 125 Boeing (BA.N) wide-body jets at the opening of the Dubai Airshow, but left Europe’s Airbus (AIR.PA) waiting for an order for broadly similar A350 jets.
Orders included 55 of the 400-seat Boeing 777-9 and 35 of the smaller 777-8 in a boost for the over-arching programme known as 777X, which has been plagued by five years of delays.
Emirates also took five extra 787 Dreamliners while flyDubai ordered 30 of the same type in its first ever long-haul order.
“Together these orders represent significant investments that reflect Dubai’s commitment to the future of aviation,” said Emirates and flyDubai Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
He said Emirates expected to receive the 777X in 2025, which is in line with Boeing’s latest target.
Aviation and tourism industries are crucial to Dubai’s economy, which lacks the oil wealth of many neighbouring states.
In New York, Boeing shares rose 4.4% after the orders, which also included 45 narrow-body 737 MAX for German-Turkish airline SunExpress.
Shares were also lifted by a Bloomberg report that talk this week between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping could end a prolonged freeze on Chinese 737 purchases.