Airbus today wrapped up its highly successful participation in the 2011 Dubai Airshow, confirming the company’s leadership in a dynamic Middle East marketplace that promises continued growth as a strategically-placed air transportation hub.
Among the new business announced during this five-day biennial aerospace event were orders and commitments from the Middle East, U.S. and Europe for Airbus’ best-selling A320 single-aisle jetliner family, along with a repeat booking for the A380.
Middle East customers’ transactions unveiled at the air show were Qatar Airways’ firm order for 50 A320neo jetliners and five additional A380s, as well as the Kuwait-based Aviation Lease and Finance Company’s purchase of 50 A320neo Family aircraft – with options placed for 30 more to be finalised by year-end.
According to the Airbus Global Market Forecast for the Middle East – which was detailed during the Dubai Airshow – this area’s airlines will require an estimated 1,921 new mainline passenger and freighter aircraft between 2011 and 2030. Jetliners of the A320 Family’s size are required to serve short- and medium-haul routes, while carriers also are seeking larger aircraft in the categories of Airbus’ A330, A350 and A380 to handle the growing number of global hubs – most of which are in reach on non-stop flights from the region’s cities.
“The Middle East has continued its impressive air traffic growth, both in good times and during the various crises experienced worldwide,” John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer - Customers, said. “For the future, it has the prime opportunity as a ‘connector’ of inter-regional traffic, due to the Middle East’s unique placement that puts it within reach of more than 85 per cent of the world’s population on direct flights.”
The Dubai Airshow provided an opportunity for Airbus to announce its creation of the new Airbus Corporate Jets business unit, headquartered in Dubai and managed by President Habib Fekih, who continues his duties as President of the Airbus Middle East office.
“As a consolidated business unit, Airbus Corporate Jets offers a single point of contact for customers – providing an integrated organisation that brings together our commercial team, program management, engineering, support and the Airbus Corporate Jet Centre cabin outfitting subsidiary,” said Fekih.
Airbus’ participation in the 2011 Dubai Airshow also included the delivery of 40 tonnes of high-energy food for the UN’s Humanitarian Response Depot in Dubai. This cargo was flown aboard a newly-delivered A330-200F freighter for Malaysia Airlines’ MASkargo subsidiary, with this airlift mission facilitated by the Airbus Corporate Foundation and Action Against Hunger. The food will be distributed to help fight famine in East Africa.