Airbus today wrapped up a high-profile participation in the 2009 Dubai Airshow, where two new airlines were added to its firm order book with signings for A380s and A350s, an existing VVIP charter operator ordered a 10th Airbus corporate jet, and three additional customers announced memorandum of understanding agreements for A330s and A320s.
Another milestone at this biennial event was Airbus' launch of new-generation "Sharklets" wingtip devices for the A320 Family - its latest new enhancement that will maintain the single-aisle jetliner product line's competiveness for many years.
This activity came as Airbus reinforces its presence in the dynamic Middle East market, where operators currently are flying a full range of the company's aircraft from the A320 single-aisle jetliner family to the 21st century A380 flagship. Airbus' Middle East market share has grown from 10 per cent in 1985 to 49 per cent today.
Additionally, the global industrial base for Airbus has now been extended to the United Arab Emirates, with Abu Dhabi's Mubadala assigned the fabrication and assembly of composite components, and Emirates Precision Engineering responsible for the machining of metallic parts. This work has an estimated value of approximately $1 billion over a timeframe of 10 years.
Airbus' new firm orders inked at the Dubai Airshow were for Air Austral's two A380s, which will be operated from the Indian Ocean's La Reunion island to Paris in an 840-seat single-class configuration; and for Ethiopian Airlines' 12 A350-900s, bringing total sales of the A350 XWB aircraft family to 505.
Also announced was an order from Comlux for a third Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ), making this Swiss-based operator the largest Airbus ACJ Family customer.
A Comlux A318 Elite configured for VVIP charters was displayed during the five-day Dubai Airshow, along with an Airbus prototype A380 - which made its appearance as part of a multi-stop international demonstration tour.
For more stories and news from the 2009 Dubai Air Show, see the dedicated mini-website