Dubai Airshow day three – orders exceed $200bn

During the Dubai Airshow day three orders rose beyond the psychological $200 billion ceiling, a record for any airshow, the organizers informed.

Within three hours of opening on day one, orders worth $162.6 billion had been signed at the Dubai Airshow,  and $193.9 billion by the end of the second day.

Dubai Airshow day three – another good day for Bombardier

Canadian company Bomardier Aerospace and Iraq’s national carrier Iraqi Airways signed an LOI (letter of intent) for five CS300 mainline jetliners. The deal also includes an option on 11 further aircraft, Bombardier announced today.

A firm order based on CS300 list price is worth about $387 million, rising to $1.16 billion if all the 11 options were purchased. Iraqi Ariways currently has six CRJ900 NextGen regional jets.

Chief Executive Officer and Director General of Iraqi Airways, Captain Saad Al-Khafaji said:

“Over the last few years, Iraqi Airways has successfully utilized its CRJ900 NextGen aircraft to open routes and expand into new markets, and today we are pleased to be taking the next step by expanding and complementing our network operations with the addition of the CS300 aircraft. Growing passenger demand in an increasingly competitive Middle East and European airline market has created a need for fuel-efficient, comfortable, technology-advanced aircraft like the CSeries jetliners.”

President of Bombadier Commercial Aircraft, Mike Arcamone, said:

“This marks a proud achievement for those who have been supporting the need for modern, efficient flying in Iraq and the surrounding region. The CSeries aircraft will complement Iraqi Airways’ CRJ900 NextGen aircraft operation as the airline looks to expand into new markets with fuel-efficient, comfortable, single-aisle aircraft that can reach destinations across the Middle East, Europe and Northern Africa.”

Soon afterwards Nok Air, a low-cost carrier based in Thailand placed a firm order for two Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft, and also purchase rights for a further four. The order, valued at $63 million could go as high as $258 million if Nok Air buys the other four aircraft.

Bell Helicopter and Abu Dhabi Aviation announced that delivery of the first Bell 412EPI will take place by the end of 2013. The aircraft will be used for offshore oil support.

Alpha Star Support Services, based in Saudi Arabia, signed a deal worth $13.3 billion with TLD, also a Saudi company, to supply ground support equipment. The deal includes jet starters, passenger steps, ground power units, air conditioning units, belt and cargo loaders, and two tractors.

Al-Obaidani International, an Oman-based company which designs and manufactures aviation uniforms, which is currently sharing the Transworld Aviation pavilion, says it may go-it-alone in 2015 at Dubai’s next airshow.

Tony Gomes, Senior Business Development Executive of Al-Obaidani International, said “We are now following up on inquiries from South Africa and other African countries and will be looking for a small stand of our own at the next show.”

Ethiopian Airlines is currently talking with potential GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) clients for its MRO (maintenance, repair and operation) services. Yiregalem Tekele, MRO Sales Manager, said “This is a good region for us. There is increasing focus from the GCC into the African market and we are ready to seize this opportunity.

Will there be a pilot shortage?

On September 2nd, Market Business News reported on a study carried out by Boeing which estimates that by 2032 commercial airlines worldwide will need 498,000 extra pilots and 556,000 maintenance technicians.

According to the report, “Overall, the demand is driven by steadily increasing airplane deliveries, particularly single-aisle airplanes, and represents a global requirement for about 25,000 new pilots annually.”

Aviation analysts are predicting a looming pilot shortage.

Wendy Pursey, head of career services at the UK pilots’ union Balpa, told the BBC that for the moment top-tier pilots are in demand to cover the growing needs of Gulf carriers. “But further down the career ladder, there are still plenty of pilots looking for jobs.”