Gulf airlines spend $100bn at Dubai Airshow

Emirates orders 150 of Boeing’s new 777s, among others

Gulf carriers splashed out more than US$100 billion on new planes on the first day of the Dubai Airshow. This underlined a shift in power in the aviation industry and also gave a boost to Boeing’s new 777 mini-jumbo and to Airbus’s A380, the news agency Reuters reports.

Emirates led the spending spree with an order for 150 of Boeing’s 777s, worth $76 billion at list prices. It also ordered 50 Airbus A380s worth $23 billion. Emirates’ total A380 orders now stand at 140.

With demand also from Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, Boeing said there were commitments so far for 259 of the new 777 aircraft, previously codenamed the 777X, worth about $100 billion at list prices, making it the biggest combined order in Boeing’s history. Business from the Gulf carriers is clearly becoming increasingly important to Boeing and Airbus.

Etihad also signed up for 30 of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliners, while low-cost carrier flydubai agreed to more than 100 737s. Saudi Arabian Airlines and Cathay Pacific are also expected to spend big at the airshow.