Emirates Makes Massive Aircraft Purchase from Boeing, Boosting U.S. Jobs

With a $52 billion acquisition of Boeing Co. aircraft, long-haul airline Emirates kicked off the Dubai Air Show, demonstrating how aviation has recovered from the coronavirus epidemic and despite Israel's conflict with Hamas casting a shadow over regional stability.

Russia's war on Ukraine and that conflict will probably have an impact on the five-day event at Al Maktoum Airport at Dubai World Central. It is the city-state's second airport after Dubai International Airport, the busiest international airport in the world and the base of operations for long-haul airline Emirates.

Emirates Unveils Major Aircraft Announcement at Expo

At a press conference on Monday afternoon, Emirates made the announcement in front of Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, the crown prince of Dubai.

Shortly after, the low-cost airline FlyDubai, which is its sibling carrier, announced that it will purchase thirty Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, which will be the first wide-body aircraft in its fleet.

(Photo : by KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images)
An Emirates Airlines plane is parked on the tarmac at Dubai International Airport in Dubai on October 17, 2023.

The majority of the focus is on commercial aircraft, although there are also exhibits from armaments manufacturers at the expo. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., two significant Israeli companies, were supposed to take part.

However, when crowds flooded into the event on Monday morning, the IAI stand-emblazoned with the tagline "Where Courage Meets Technology"-was cordoned off and deserted. There were no salespeople there, but coffee was distributed at a booth representing Rafael. An attendant was asked to remark, but she did not respond right away.

Rafael also supported an air force chiefs' gathering on Sunday in an opulent hotel in Dubai, emphasizing the delicate balancing act the UAE is performing in the face of Arab outrage over the Israel-Hamas conflict.

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Diplomatic Ties and Aviation Resurgence

In 2020, Israel and the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven sheikhdoms, established diplomatic ties.

Despite facing sanctions from the United States and other countries due to Moscow's invasion on Ukraine, the company Russian Helicopters is expected to have personnel available for the air show. They last attended the Abu Dhabi weapons exhibition earlier this year. The Russian national space enterprise, ROSCOSMOS, is also present at the event.

Following the coronavirus epidemic, which resulted in widespread lockdowns and planes grounded, the world's aviation industry is seeing a boom, especially at Al Maktoum Airport, which for months was used as an Emirates double-decker Airbus 380 parking lot.

The International Air Transport Association reports that as of now, air traffic is 97 percent of what it was before to COVID-19. According to IATA, September traffic for Middle Eastern airlines-which provide vital East-West routes for international travel-rose by 26.6% when compared to the same month last year.

Emirates' Soaring Profits and Aviation Expansion

In the midst of Dubai's soaring real estate market, Emirates is a major economic driver. On Thursday, the company reported record half-year earnings of $2.7 billion. This puts the airline on course for yet another record-breaking year since it represents an increase from $1.2 billion for the same period last year. The airline claims that, in order to survive, it has returned about $2.5 billion of the debts it took out during the pandemic's peak.

In September, Tim Clark, the president of Emirates, advised Bloomberg to "watch this space" on possible acquisitions from Boeing and Airbus during the air show. In order to staff new aircraft, the airline is seeking a large number of new pilots and crew members.

Another player in the market is Riyadh Air, a brand-new Saudi airline being developed as part of the kingdom's trillion-dollar expenditure plans. The airline declared aspirations to grow in March and placed an order for up to 72 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, Turkish Airlines may possibly make a record-breaking acquisition of 355 aircraft from Airbus, including 250 A321neo aircraft.

On Monday afternoon, SunExpress, a Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa joint venture, committed to buying up to ninety Boeing 737 MAX single-aisle aircraft, according to a statement released by Boeing Co. In addition to the possibility of purchasing an additional 45 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, the transaction comprises 28 Boeing 737-8 and 17 Boeing 737-10 planes. The businesses did not provide a deal's total value.

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