Gulf airlines get off to a flying start at air show

Marion Dakers
GULF airlines announced $150bn-worth (£93bn) of plane orders on the first day of the Dubai Airshow yesterday, giving a big boost to manufacturers and showing the financial clout of carriers in the region.

Boeing has taken an early lead in the fight for orders at the event, with Dubai-based Emirates placing an order for the new 777 model worth $76bn at list prices. Manufacturers typically give discounts to list prices on big orders.

And Etihad’s $26.9bn order for Airbus models produced a windfall for Rolls-Royce, which will supply $5bn-worth of engines.

Prime Minister David Cameron said he was hopeful that the British firm BAE Systems was still in the running to supply the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a lucrative fleet of Eurofighter Typhoons. Cameron met with UAE officials during a trip to the airshow on his way back from Sri Lanka.

Cameron welcomed Airbus orders from Emirates and Eithad Airways, as well as news that Rolls-Royce had won a $5bn order from Etihad Airways to supply Trent XWB engines for the 50 Airbus A350s. Airbus said the Emirates order would protect 2,500 jobs at its UK bases in Flintshire and Bristol. “This is a great day for the British aerospace industry,” he said.