News & Events

Dubai 2005 Airshow

Airbus leaves Dubai with a strengthened order book

24 November 2005

Airbus announced orders and commitments nearly every day of the show finishing the week with a total of 157 aircraft (excluding options), worth around $14 billion. It also strengthened its A350 programme with 48 new orders and commitments from ALAFCO, ILFC and TAP Portugal, bringing total commitments for the new airliner to 155.


The A380 in full Emirates livery, dubbed “the empress of the sky” by the flight display commentator, was the unrivalled star of the show, drawing crowds of people on its arrival and for each of its daily flight display as well as hundreds of visitors.

The show gave Middle East A380 customers the opportunity come onboard and to see the aircraft first hand. In addition, on Friday, the French aerobatics team “la Patrouille de France”, which participated in the flying display every day during the air show, is flying in formation with the A380 over Dubai.

In terms of orders, the A350 programme received orders from ALAFCO, the Kuwait-based international aircraft leasing company, with a contract for 12 A350s with options on six more, making ALAFCO the first leasing company to select the new airliner.


Airbus’ largest customer, International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), became a launch customer for the A350 with an order for 12 aircraft and eight options. On the same day albeit not at the show, TAP Portugal, an all-Airbus operator, announced its decision to acquire 10 A350s and seven A330-200s to modernise and reinforce its long-haul fleet.

The A320 Family also confirmed its position as the most popular single-aisle aircraft family. As the show opened, National Air Services (NAS), the largest provider of VVIP and executive air transport services in the Middle East, announced a firm commitment for five A318 Elites plus five additional aircraft, becoming the launch customer in the Middle East for this new member of the Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) Family.

Jazeera Airways, the new, privately owned airline of Kuwait, signed a contract for six more A320s, taking its total orders for the model to ten. It was followed by privately-owned Indian airline Kingfisher Airlines who announced its decision to acquire 30 more Airbus A320 Family aircraft to continue its major fleet expansion.

Finally AerCap, formerly known as debis AirFinance, signed a letter of intent for the purchase of 70 A320 Family aircraft, taking its Airbus portfolio to more than 170 aircraft, while an undisclosed private customer signed an order for five A320 Family aircraft.