After Emirates’ and Air Arabia’s announcements during the Dubai Air Show, it looks like Airbus, the European aircraft manufacturer operating out of the UK, will be raking in quite the profit.
It was just the second day of the show when Emirates said they would be purchasing 50 Airbus A350-900 XWBs - extra wide-body - planes at a list price of $16 billion, and shortly after, Air Arabia – a quickly-growing, cheap carrier – ordered 170 Airbus A320s which is worth $14 billion.
However, considering how large both orders are, it’s likely that both Emirates and Air Arabia will get a discount on the catalog price.
According to Adel Ali, Air Arabia chief executive, this would be a “game-changer,” allowing the company to expand into Southeast Asia and Africa.
Emirates’ order, which was made rather quickly after last-minute negotiations, will aid in re-shaping its fleet as they adjust to a slowing regional market as well as the final touches of the A380 super-jumbo jet. Currently, Emirates is the biggest operator of the A380, with over 100 of the aircraft in its fleet.
The airline's chairman and chief executive, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said the A350s would allow Emirates to expand its long-haul network. The first of the A350 aircraft, which flies up to 15 hours and carries 350 passengers, will be delivered in 2023.
"It is very good news for Airbus," the European aerospace giant's chief executive, Guillaume Faury, told the news conference, adding that they still planned to end production of the A380.
However, Emirates also said that the negotiations with Airbus rival Boeing, a US manufacturer, are still ongoing. Sheikh Ahmed said the same, but also mentioned the fact that they were discussing when the US aerospace giant might resolve issues around its 737 Max which is currently grounded after two crashes.
In the past, Emirates said it could purchase 40 of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliners, but they have not finalized the order quite yet.