Gulf firms seal further plane deals in Dubai

Marion Dakers
AIRBUS and Boeing added a further $5bn (£3.1bn) in plane parts deals yesterday, following a $150bn deal spree on the first day of the Dubai Air Show.

Abu Dhabi’s state investment vehicle, Mubadala, signed separate deals with the two firms agreeing to supply a total of $5bn-worth of raw materials and build plane parts.

Boeing has also struck a manufacturing deal with Tawazun Precision Industries, which is owned by Abu Dhabi.

Airbus parent company EADS has upgraded its order forecast for this year as Gulf carriers line up to buy the A380, the world’s biggest passenger jet. The firm has announced orders from Emirates, Etihad and Qatar in recent days.

And Boeing took an order for 150 of its new 777 mini-jumbos from Emirates worth a whopping $76bn at list prices, though buyers are typically offered an undisclosed discount on big deals.

Outside the two major players, big plane purchases have been thin on the ground at the Dubai event.

Canadian manufacturer Bombardier announced an order for a dozen Q400s, worth $423m at list price, but the firm has so far failed to produce deals for its CSeries model, which cost C$3.4bn to develop.

And military sales have been subdued this year as many governments rein in defence budgets.

Boeing boss Jim McNerney told reporters he was upbeat about his firm’s F/A-18 fighter jets in spite of spending cuts within the US military.

“I can’t predict the future exactly, but I think there is a good chance of more orders from the US government,” he said.

Prime Minister David Cameron visited Dubai over the weekend to discuss the Eurofighter Typhoon. A large order from the United Arab Emirates would be a boon for UK-based BAE Systems, which is part of the Europe-wide consortium building the jets.