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Published on : Monday, November 18, 2013
Boeing is all out to defeat Airbus in the battle for orders at the Dubai Airshow. Boeing has agreed to a deal of 30 of its 787 Dreamliners with Etihad and for over 100 of its 737 planes with budget carrier flydubai.
But Airbus was not left behind as it fixed a deal with Etihad for 87 aircraft including options for 30 more, could be worth $26.9 billion.
The European group also has a record of springing surprises, and is keen to prevent a smooth lift-off for the new 777.
Emirates’ A380 order was something of a coup for Airbus, which is under pressure to revive the fortunes of a plane that previously hadn’t found any buyers this year and faces a cut in output unless empty 2015 production slots can be filled.
Emirates is already the biggest customer of the A380 and its order for 50 more was at the top end of expectations, and brings its total orders for the plane to 140.
The Emirates Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said that a shift in stance in the West would allow the group to fly more of its planes to airports there. Gulf is a major player in the aviation industry now.
He added that since they are the biggest buyers of planes from the Western countries then why will they be not allowed to use the airports of those counties. If they are not allowed to use the airports then the plane companies can take their planes back.
A group representing U.S. airline pilots, meanwhile, warned that the sale of hundreds of planes to Gulf carriers that compete with U.S. carriers would have serious consequences for the U.S. economy and U.S. airline workers.
Boeing’s new 777 comes in two models including what will be the world’s longest-distance passenger jet, a 350-seat model to be known as the 777-8 once the aircraft has been launched.
The larger 777-9 edition, carrying 406 people, will be the main version and be delivered starting 2020.
Together, the modernized planes call for development of carbon-fiber wings that fold at the tips to fit in the same parking spaces and new engines from General Electric.
Airbus says Boeing has packed in passengers densely to make the revamped aircraft’s economics work against its own all-new 350-seat model, the A350-1000, due to enter service in 2017.
It has launched a campaign for a minimum standard seat width of 18 inches on long trips, aiming to draw attention to what it says will be the 777’s narrower seats.
Some airlines have told Airbus that this is their decision and Boeing says many Airbus jets have similar seats.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron had told the heads of the British aerospace and defense companies even before the show began to “get out there and win”.
In another battle with France Britain is competing over a potential 60-plane fighter jet deal with the United Arab Emirates.