Airbus and the Dubai Airshow: A long relationship

16 November 2013 Feature story

The 2013 Dubai Airshow participation of Airbus continues the company’s high-level involvement in this increasingly important Middle East event, which traces its origins back to the inaugural gathering in January 1989.

Airbus’ role in the Dubai Airshow during the past two decades underscores the company’s commitment to the Middle East and North African regions, which is coordinated through the Airbus Middle East office at the Dubai Airport Free Zone.  In addition to its commercial unit, this subsidiary hosts the Airbus Corporate Jets operation, and oversees the region’s Airbus Spares Centre and Airbus Training Centre.

Across the Middle East and North Africa, Airbus’ market presence today counts more than 40 airlines in nearly 30 countries from the east Atlantic coast to the Indian Ocean – including flagship and national carriers, low-cost and smaller regional operators, in addition to leasing companies.

One of the key customers is Dubai-based Emirates, which has ordered more than 211 Airbus aircraft since the 1980s – with nearly 80 in operation as of 31 October.  Its inventory is composed of A340s and the largest fleet of A380s currently in service, with 38 now operating to destinations around the world from the total 90 double-deck jetliners Emirates has on order.

Looking back to the first Dubai Airshow in 1989, Emirates utilized this event to announce an increase in its nascent Airbus fleet – with an order for three more A300-600R versions of the cornerstone A300/A310 jetliner family.  This brought the airline’s total order for Airbus widebodies to six (composed of two A310s and four A300-600Rs).  At the time, Emirates was operating two A310-300s and one leased A300-600 on services to Europe and for regional routes, with further expansion planned that spring with a previously-ordered A300-600R.

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