Dubai Airshow 2023: Demand for widebody aircraft growing globally

Emirates and flydubai ordered widebody aircraft worth Dh231.21 billion on first day of the airshow


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Mon 13 Nov 2023, 6:38 PM

Last updated: Mon 13 Nov 2023, 6:39 PM

Demand for widebody aircraft is growing globally as the world aviation market recovery matures and is set for next stage of growth, said Steven F. Udvar-Házy, executive chairman of Air Lease Corporation.

“As the Covid-19 pandemic came to an end, we saw remarkable growth for narrow-body aircraft worldwide, except for China on domestic travel. We are now seeing a surge in demand for widebody aircraft. Initially, it was narrow-bodied, now the industry is reaching a greater level of equilibrium so there is a demand for widebody aircraft,” Steven said during a press briefing while signing an agreement with Egypt Air on the first day of the Dubai Airshow 2023.

Egypt Air on Monday signed an agreement to lease 18 new Boeing 737-8 aircraft from Air Lease Corporation.

Interestingly, Dubai’s flagship carrier Emirates also placed an order for 95 Boeing widebody aircraft on Monday worth $52 billion. Similarly, flydubai also announced buying 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners worth $11 billion as the airline diversifies its fleet with the introduction of wide-body aircraft. The two airlines placed orders worth $63 billion (Dh231.2 billion) on day one of Airshow.

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The widebody aircraft are increasingly getting more fuel-efficient, hence, driving up their demand from the airlines, especially operating on the long-haul routes.

Steven F. Udvar-Házy, said aircraft manufacturers have their plates full as positions are not available until the end of this decade.

“There has been a massive amount of activity from airlines to line up slots for future deliveries from countries like Saudi Arabia, other Gulf countries, India and even from some US carriers. But time will tell whether these aircraft will be delivered on time,” he said, adding that airlines may not be in a position to absorb deliveries of all the aircraft, hence, they ask for delays in deliveries.

Impact of Middle East war

While replying to a query during the press conference after the agreement signing ceremony with Air Lease Corporation, Yehia Zakaria, chairman and CEO of Egypt Air, said there is a “some kind of impact and cancellations due to current situation in the region, but is not complicated.”

Global ratings agency S&P earlier said that since the war between Israel and Hamas began, several tour agencies in Egypt have reported cancellations of around half of the bookings for November and December, particularly from European travellers.

Zakaria hoped that the conflict would end soon. “Cancellations are not challenging for us. It is still within the range because everyone likes to come to Egypt.”

Zakaria revealed that the airline plans 125 aircraft and up to 100 destinations by 2028 as part of its 5-year expansion plan.


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