Day 1 of the Dubai Air Show has been and gone, and two sets of orders were announced – so it’s time to digest who has been spending money and signing orders.
As usual, at Economy Class and Beyond, we only cover commercial orders – if you want news from other markets, there are plenty of other sources.
We’ll start with the turboprop manufacturer, who was first out of the gate, with an announcement for four ATR72-600 for Binter Canarias, with options for a further one.
The deal marks the final step in Binter’s plan to replace its remaining ATR 72-500 aircraft with the latest-generation ATR, which will operate 23 of the type.
Rodolfo Nunez President of Binter Canarias said:
“Ever since its first delivery ATR aircraft had an immediate and enduring impact on our operations. The ATR 72-600 has become our flagship aircraft and with 23 of them in our fleet, upon the completion of these deliveries, it provides the backbone of air connectivity throughout the Canary Islands. This deal for five aircraft represents a significant investment but it will ensure that the many benefits, such as supporting local businesses and facilitating easier transport for locals and tourists alike, will continue.”
ATR CEO, Stefano Bortoli, remarked:
“We have had a long partnership with Binter Canarias and ever since their first ATR delivery, we have seen them go from strength to strength as an airline. This makes their reaffirmation of faith in our product a real seal of approval. It shows that our ATR has been reliable and cost-efficient and that the passengers have enjoyed the experience on board. We will continue to introduce innovations that offer real value to airlines to provide the most sustainable and economic solution for connecting local communities.”
Indigo Partners have stuck again, with an order for 255 Airbus A320neo family aircraft for their airlines – Wizz Air, Jetsmart, Frontier and Volaris.
This order brings the total number of aircraft ordered by the Indigo Partners’ airlines to 1,145 A320 Family aircraft. The aircraft ordered today are a mix of A321neos and A321XLRs, which will be delivered to the individual airlines as follows:
- Wizz Air: 102 aircraft (75 A321neo + 27 A321XLR)
- Frontier: 91 aircraft (A321neo)
- Volaris: 39 aircraft (A321neo)
- JetSMART: 23 aircraft (21 A321neo + 2 A321XLR)
In addition to this order, Volaris and JetSMART will upconvert 38 A320neo to A321neo from their existing aircraft backlogs.
Bill Franke, Managing Partner of Indigo Partners said:
“This order reaffirms our portfolio airlines’ commitment to consistent growth through the next decade. The Airbus A321neo and A321XLR have industry-leading efficiency, low unit costs and a substantially reduced carbon footprint relative to prior models. With these aircraft, Wizz, Frontier, Volaris and JetSMART will continue to offer low fares, stimulate the markets they serve and improve their industry-leading sustainability profile”
Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International.
“We are happy to further expand our relationship with our great Indigo Partners’ airlines Wizz, Frontier, Volaris and JetSMART who have acted fast and decisively over the last few months to position themselves for this landmark order as the effect of the pandemic recedes and the world wants more sustainable flying,”
Boeing announced plans to add three conversion lines for the 737-800BCF across North America and Europe. The company also signed a firm order with Icelease for eleven of the freighters as the launch customer for one of the new conversion lines.
In 2022, the company will open one conversion line at Boeing’s London Gatwick Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) facility, its state-of-the-art hangar in the United Kingdom; and two conversion lines in 2023 at KF Aerospace MRO in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.
Earlier this year, Boeing announced it would create additional 737-800BCF conversion capacity at several sites, including a third conversion line at Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company Limited (GAMECO), and two conversion lines in 2022 with a new supplier, Cooperativa Autogestionaria de Servicios Aeroindustriales (COOPESA) in Costa Rica. Once the new lines become active, Boeing will have conversion sites in North America, Asia and Europe.
Jens Steinhagen, director of Boeing Converted Freighters said
“Building a diverse and global network of conversion facilities is critical to supporting our customers’ growth and meeting regional demand,” said
“KF Aerospace and our Boeing teammates at London Gatwick have the infrastructure, capabilities and expertise required to deliver market-leading Boeing Converted Freighters to our customers.”
Gregg Evjen, chief operating officer, KF Aerospace.
“We’re very excited to be expanding our relationship with Boeing,”
“We’ve been working with the Boeing product line for more than 30 years. With our cargo conversion experience, our highly skilled workforce and all the technical requirements already in place, we’re ready to get to work and help serve Boeing’s customers.”
Magnus Stephensen, senior partner at Icelease said:
“We are confident in the quality and proven record of Boeing’s 737-800 converted freighter, and pleased to be the launch customer for their new London MRO facility,”
“We look forward to bringing the freighter in to our fleet to serve our growing global customer base operating domestic and short-haul routes.”
Onto Day 2
Mega-orders of days pass were not expected this airshow, as the aviation industry attempts to get up from its feet after a very rough 20 months. However, Airbus has put paid to that with a massive order of aircraft landing on their doorstep.
We will have to see if that puts pressure on other manufacturers to make deals to keep their production lines busy.
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