Dubai Airshow 2023 may Surpass Previous Records in Aircraft Orders

5-day premier aviation event will spotlight the latest trends in space technologies


Issac John

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Published: Mon 30 Oct 2023, 12:10 PM

THE DUBAI AIRSHOW, which has made its mark as one of the most rewarding showcases in terms of aircraft orders and breakthrough technology displays, looks set to surpass its previous records on the back of a vibrant rebound the global aviation industry is witnessing.

The 18th edition of the airshow running from 13-17 November at the showpiece Al Maktoum International Airport, more commonly known as Dubai World Central, promises to be a critical point of convergence for the aerospace industry by providing a platform to showcase the latest innovations, trends, and products range that are going redefine the future of the aviation and space industries. The show will serve as an ideal platform for rethinking strategies, navigating uncertainty, and scaling up operations to ensure the smooth re-establishment of the industry in general.

To be staged under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, the Dubai Airshow will spotlight the latest trends in space technologies and efforts to localise the industry through the "Make it in the Emirates" campaign. It will also emphasise the pivotal role of startups in accelerating the realisation of sustainability goals in the sector.

With over 400 new exhibitors along with 80+ startups and a host of new and expanded features including the Advanced Aerial Mobility Pavillion, space zone, and much more, the 2023 edition will showcase an impressive lineup of the latest commercial, business, and military aircraft along with an exciting selection of eVTOLs and helicopters from both industry leaders and emerging players.

In addition to the largest display of the latest aircraft, both on the ground and up in the air, this year, the show will feature the Space Experience Programme, with the support of the UAE Space Agency, to bring together industry leaders, pioneering technology providers, space mission delegations, and engaging youth programs - all under one roof.

This year, the UAE celebrates 26 years since the beginning of its space program. The nation has made some huge strides in building national capabilities and earth observation, training astronauts, sending missions to Mars, and hopefully soon to the asteroid belt.

This year, Dubai Airshow will host a two-day conference, powered by Abu Dhabi Space Debate, focusing on key topics including Space and Climate Change, Space Capital Formation and Infrastructure Development, Mitigating Orbital Debris, Space & Security, Communications and connectivity, and Space Tourism.

This year’s show will host nine conference tracks, bringing strategic topics, while adding new focus areas of Passenger Experience and Diversity & Inclusion in Aviation. The conference will showcase over 300 returning and new speakers to deliver +80 hours of engaging content

Aircraft orders are a significant highlight of the Dubai Airshow, with transatlantic plane-makers Airbus and Boeing competing for big deals. At the 2021 Airshow, Airbus walked away with 404 orders, with Boeing taking just a quarter of that with 101 orders. Aviation enthusiasts can look forward to an exciting race by these two aviation giants at the show, and can also expect a wide variety of impressive aircraft on display.

A record-breaking 1,667 orders were placed for global aircraft in the first half of 2023. The latest report from ADS Group, the trade association for the aerospace, defence, security, and space organisations, highlights a 129 per cent increase in aircraft orders placed in the first half of 2023 compared to 2022 figures, led by record-breaking orders by Air India.

Air India has placed orders for 840 planes from Airbus and Boeing, including options to purchase additional 370 aircraft. The outstanding figure is driven by the most successful H1 for aircraft orders since ADS records began in 2010, with June and Paris Airshow announcements boosting the global aircraft order book. In the single-aisle aircraft market, orders reflect strong market confidence, with the 1,398 single-aisle aircraft ordered year to date being the highest order number on record.

The backlog of aircraft orders grew 11 per cent in H1 2023 to 14,462 aircraft. In the same period in 2022, the backlog increased by just 1.0 per cent. Aircraft manufacturers delivered 582 aircraft during the first half of the year, an overall increase of more than 13 per cent on the same period in 2022. Of note, in H1 2023, 85 wide-body aircraft were delivered, a 23 per cent increase year on year.

Considering current production and delivery dates, ADS has uplifted its forecast of 1,215 aircraft deliveries by the end of this year.

This would represent the largest number of aircraft delivered in more than three years and is a strong signal that aircraft manufacturing is on its way to pre-pandemic trends, despite ongoing supply chain issues.

Industry analysts said record-breaking orders, recovering delivery figures and a healthy backlog showcase continued confidence in the aerospace industry's recovery. The roaring aircraft orders made during H1 2023 are a very welcome sign of increasing confidence in the sector. Separately, growth in delivery figures supports expectations of a return to pre-pandemic levels of manufacturing in 2024.

According to Aviation Week, Emirates could be expected to make a significant order announcement with Airbus, Boeing, or both as it "is closing in on defining its long-term fleet requirements. According to airline industry sources, the show will witness the inking of huge aircraft orders by leading players.

Earlier this year, Riyadh Air placed a large widebody order alongside Saudia, and some believe that the narrowbody complement could follow at the Dubai Airshow.

The Dubai Airshow’s comprehensive conference agenda features nine thought-leadership tracks across five days. More than 300 speakers will deliver upwards of 80 hours of engaging content that will drive the conversation forward on key industry topics.

The conferences will play a pivotal role in addressing critical industry challenges and fostering innovation. The event will bring together experts, leaders, and stakeholders to shape the future of aerospace with a focus on priority topics such as Advanced Aerial Mobility, Sustainability, Passenger Experience, Air Traffic Management, Diversity and inclusion, Space, start-ups, and mentoring platform Vista, student-focused NextGen Leaders, along with the Airworthiness & Safety Conference.

Industry experts confirmed to speak during the conferences include Paul Griffiths, chief executive officer of Dubai Airports; Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, chairwoman, UAE Space Agency; Mohammed Al Kuwaiti, head of Cyber Security, UAE Government; Tony, Douglas, chief executive officer, Riyadh Air; Julie, Marks, acting executive director for the Office of Environment and Energy and Ibrahim Ahli, deputy CEO, Dubai Air Navigation Services. The Aviation Mobility stage will host conferences around essential topics on Air Traffic Management (ATM) and Advanced Aerial Mobility while bringing two new tracks: Passenger Experience, and Diversity & Inclusion.

The UAE Space Agency has brought together the Dubai Airshow Advisory Board, a group of influential leaders and innovators from the aviation and space sectors to delve into the latest developments and prospects for participation in the Airshow.

“As technology progresses and as we move towards investment in the space and aviation sector, the UAE seeks, through a robust approach, to utilise advanced technology in the space sector and make a significant investment in research and development. Innovation and technological development are the core of our priorities to achieve global leadership and open new horizons in this vital field,” Minister Al Amiri said.

“As the UAE moves towards investing in space exploration, we are working to transform these space opportunities into promising investment opportunities and opening new channels for international cooperation during the Dubai Airshow, while providing innovative commercial space services that meet the needs of the market,” she said.


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