Dubai Airshow 2021, the world’s biggest aviation event since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, closed on Thursday with more than Dh286.5 billion ($78 billion) worth of commercial and defence contracts signed during the show, surpassing the previous edition’s total by over Dh100 billion.
The pre-pandemic edition of the airshow held in 2019 had recorded contracts to the tune of Dh183.6 billion.
Held at Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central from November 14 to 18, Dubai Airshow 2021, the biggest-ever, attracted 1,200 exhibitors with 371 new companies. As many as 148 countries took part in the event, and 13 of them for the first time, fortifying the event’s status as a global event. The show also featured more than 160 of the world’s most advanced aircraft on the ground and in the air.
European aerospace giant Airbus dominated the show with 408 aircraft orders – 269 firm and 139 commitments.
On the opening day of the show, Indigo Partners portfolio airlines placed a firm order for 255 Airbus A321neo Family aircraft valued at Dh121 billion ($33 billion). It was the biggest ever order placed at the five-day airshow.
The US-based Air Lease Corp. signed a contract for 111 aircraft covering the full range of Airbus aircraft families including the new A350 Freighter valued at Dh55 billion ($15 billion). On the third day, Jazeera Airways ordered 28 A321neos and Nigeria’s Ibom Air became a new Airbus customer with a firm order for 10 A220s.
US aircraft manufacturer Boeing also bagged a few orders during the airshow, including a mega Dh33 billion deal with India’s Akasa Air. It also signed an agreement to sell two freighters with Emirates SkyCargo, a deal with Air Tanzania for four aircraft as well as defence deals with the UAE companies.
In addition, the UAE’s Ministry of Defence signed Dh22.5 billion worth of contracts with European, American and Asian contractors and suppliers at the airshow.
The UAE Air Force and Air Defence (Afad) on the first day awarded a huge contract worth Dh11 billion to Abu Dhabi-based advanced technology firm Edge Group’s subsidiary GAL for the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), and specialised support services for the UAE Airforce and Air Defence.
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