In a development that took place on November 14, Ethiopian Airlines made a prominent move by placing an order for 31 Boeing jets, with the choice to purchase a further 36. This deal goes on to mark a milestone for the company, as it demonstrates their belief in the future growth of the aviation industry.
The announcement of the order, which took place at the Dubai Airshow, happens to be the largest ever purchase of Boeing aircraft by an African airline, as stated by the US manufacturer.
As per the CEO of the group, Mesfin Tasew, the airline’s expansion plans has in it buying 11 787 Dreamliner as well as 20 737 MAX planes, for a total list price in excess of $5.6 billion.
He pointed out that the inclusion of the latest technology, including both wide-body as well as narrow-body aircraft, will help them to expand their reach, better their operations, and also surge profitability.
According to Tasew, Ethiopian Airlines happens to be the largest carrier in Africa, operating a fleet of 140 aircraft and serving over 100 destinations. Brad McMullen, the Senior Vice President of Commercial Sales and Marketing at Boeing, went on to describe the flag carrier’s commitment as a significant milestone.
There are other airlines, apart from Ethiopian Airlines, that are also considering to go ahead with the expansion. On November 13, Emirates Airlines, which is based in Dubai, placed an order for 95 Boeing planes. Apart from this, FlyDubai, a budget carrier also based in Dubai, bought 30 wide-bodied aircraft from Boeing. These acquisitions are part of FlyDubai’s plan to expand its operations as well as come up with new routes.
Turkish Airlines has gone on to officially announce that it is in discussions with Airbus, the European competitor of Boeing, with regards to a potential order of 355 aircraft. In June, Indigo, India’s low-cost airline, happen to place an order for 500 Airbus A320-family planes, marking the largest order ever made for civil aircraft.
Although Boeing has got the majority of deals in Dubai during the air show week, Airbus made an announcement on November 14 regarding an order for 10 A350-900 planes placed by EgyptAir.
During a news conference, Christian Scherer, the commercial director of Airbus, expressed that the deal signifies a significant turning point in the prosperous and long-term partnership with the state-owned carrier.
Based on the manufacturer’s latest published list price, the transaction is worth $3.2 billion, without considering any discounts that are naturally applied in the industry.
On November 14, Emirates chief executive Tim Clark expressed his decision to pull back from purchasing Airbus’s A350 until he had completed discussions with engine manufacturer Rolls Royce. Clark holds Rolls Royce responsible for the perceived issues when it comes to durability as well as longevity.
He stated that 40% of the 350-1000s have been sold in this particular region and emphasized that this region is the main buyer of these airplanes and will continue to purchase them in large quantities once the engine issue is solved.
Airbus has stressed that the A350s utilize advanced technology, resulting in a 25% decrease in fuel consumption compared to previous models of its competitor.
However, the chief of Emirates also said that the choice of aircraft was primarily based on the importance of reliability. Boeing may not have the same level of technological advancement or use advanced build materials.
It is well to be noted that on November 14, Emirates announced that they had entered into contracts worth $1.2 billion with Safran, a renowned French aircraft equipment manufacturer. An agreement with Safran has been reached to provide new seats for their fleet of Airbus A350s, Boeing 777X-9s, and Boeing 777-300s. The cost of these seats is estimated to be $1 billion at list price.
Air Arabia, which is headquartered in Sharjah, a neighbouring emirate of Dubai, has placed an order for 240 LEAP-1A engines. The deal, valued at almost $3.36 billion, is intended to offer power for its current order of 120 Airbus A320neo family aircraft, says the company.