Boeing lands a series of passenger and freighter orders at Dubai

By Judson Rollins


November 16, 2021, © Leeham News: Boeing captured a handful of orders and a further expansion into freighter conversion at this week’s Dubai Air Show.

The largest of these, announced Tuesday, is for 72 737 MAXes destined for Indian startup Akasa Air. These will include a mix of 737-8s and 737-8-200s. Akasa plans to offer commercial flights starting next summer.

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Air Lease Corp.’s A220 order may be followed soon by others

By Scott Hamilton

Airbus A220-300 for Air Lease Corp. Photo credit: Airbus.

Nov. 16, 2021, © Leeham News: Air Lease Corp. added another 25 Airbus A220s to its backlog with Airbus. The letter of intent, announced at the Dubai Air Show, brings ALC’s A220 backlog to 75, the most of any lessor.

ALC also is the first customer to publicly order the new Airbus A350F.

ALC announced the LOI yesterday at the air show. It was part of a package of 111 aircraft. In addition to the A220s, ALC signed for 55 A321neos, 20 A321XLRs, four A330neos and seven A350Fs.

Airbus has 643 firm orders for the A220: 90 for the smaller A220-100 and 553 for the larger A220-300. The -300 competes directly with the Airbus A319neo and the Boeing 737-7.

With the Dubai Air Show underway, LNA learned that there are at least two big orders that might emerge before year end that boost the book to nearly 800. One deal is with an exclusive Boeing operator, who also is in talks for an A321neo order. The sub-type couldn’t be learned, but given the carrier’s route system, it almost certainly will include the LR and/or XLR.

Interest in the A220 continues to pick up under the Airbus ownership. With the pandemic slowing, additional orders appear to be in the offing sooner than later.

Airbus continues its cost-cutting efforts on the program. LNA reported detail in a Sept. 28 post. During the IATA AGM Oct. 3-5 in Boston, Airbus’ chief commercial officer, Christian Scherer, elaborated.

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Indigo Partners airlines kick-start single-aisle recovery with large joint order

By Judson Rollins & Bjorn Fehrm


November 14, 2021 © Leeham News: Airbus made a splash on the first day of the Dubai Air Show, announcing a firm order for 255 A321neo family aircraft from the Indigo Partners portfolio of airlines.

This is the first large order for single-aisles since COVID-19 struck early last year, comprising 226 A321neos and 29 A321XLRs.

Indigo Partners, headed by airline veteran Bill Franke, is an Arizona-based private equity firm with stakes in several low-cost carriers around the world. Franke was present at today’s announcement along with the chief executives of all four airlines, two of whom joined the event virtually.

The airlines included in today’s order are US-based Frontier, Mexico’s Volaris, Chile’s JetSmart, and Central European giant Wizz Air. Joint orders like this are relatively uncommon except from multi-carrier conglomerates like Lufthansa Group or IAG. Indigo’s last joint order was for 430 A320neo family aircraft, announced at the 2017 Dubai Air Show.

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Airbus issues “conservative” post-COVID forecast

By Judson Rollins


November 13, 2021, © Leeham News: On the eve of the Dubai Air Show, Airbus released the first edition of its annual Global Market Forecast (GMF) since the COVID-19 crisis began.

The manufacturer sees approximately 39,000 passenger aircraft with 100+ seats and freighters being produced by 2040. 29,690 will be small aircraft, 5,340 medium, and 3,990 large. Airbus’s category definitions now take both size and range into account; the A321XLR is categorized as a “medium” airplane, reflecting its inroads into routes currently operated by smaller widebodies.

Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer said that Airbus took a “corridor” approach to forecasting a global traffic recovery using high and low scenarios. In the low case, traffic would recover to 2019 levels by 2023, or 2025 in the high case. He said the high scenario is basically an extrapolation of recent traffic trends across key markets.

He expressed optimism that the wave of COVID-driven order cancellations had peaked. “The resilience of our industry has been remarkable. Owners continue to believe in their investments and put capital into their fleets.” Read more

Looking beyond MAX

Nov. 25, 2019, © Leeham News: Boeing still doesn’t have a timeline for recertification of the 737 MAX and the Federal Aviation Administration isn’t going to be rushed, but aerospace analysts are increasingly looking beyond the grounding at a normalized Boeing.

It will be well into 2021 before Boeing clears the inventory of MAXes.

Nevertheless, analysts see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, hoping that it isn’t an oncoming train.

Boeing quietly rolled out the 737-10 MAX last week in an employee-only event. The 10 MAX is the last of the long line of 737s that began with the -100 model in 1967. It had a capacity for 110 passengers. The 10 MAX can seat 220 passengers. Boeing photo.

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Pontifications: Good, and Bad, news from the Dubai Air Show

By Scott Hamilton

Nov. 25, 2019, © Leeham News: The Dubai Air Show proved to be a mixed bag for Airbus and Boeing.

Each company picked up important orders and commitments.

But each company saw some previously announced commitments reduced in the process, including, for Boeing, a reduction in the backlog for the slow-selling 777X.

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Boeing’s good year for wide-body orders

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Nov. 27, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Officials from Airbus and Boeing each said this year that wide-body orders, languishing for the past couple of years, should pick up by the turn of the decade as the in-service fleet reaches 20-25 years old.

Aerolineas Argentinas plans a wide-body competition for deliveries around 2020-2021. Photo via Google images.

But Boeing has had an exemplary year through Nov. 21, the most recent update of its Orders and Deliveries website. The company reported 160 net orders for the 767, 777 and 787, with 88 for the latter. Commitments for 40 more at the Dubai Air Show are not included, as these have not yet been firmed up.

Airbus hasn’t done nearly as well: just 56 net orders for the A330 and A350 families through October, its most recently reported data.

Have Boeing’s results indicated a sooner-than-expected uptick in orders?

  • Not enough data to draw definitive conclusions, but uptick may be arriving early.
  • Aerolineas Argentinas and Thai Airways are looking at wide-body aircraft orders. See the stories here and here.
  • Early this year, 5-year slump was seen. By August, strong market seen.

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Assessing the Dubai Air Show

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Nov. 20, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The Dubai Air Show was a clear win for Boeing, despite the last minute 430 airplane commitment from the Indigo Partners group.

The “MENA” region, for Middle East and North Africa, has been the staple of the Dubai Air Show.

There have been occasional smatterings of peripheral regions tossed in, but commitments from US companies (except lessors doing business worldwide) have not been a regular feature.

  • Boeing swept the MENA orders and commitments.
  • Emirates order for 40 787-10s begin delivery from 2022 and may be tied to adjustments in 777X delivery rate.
  • The lack of the widely expected A380 order from Emirates was a huge embarrassment to Airbus.
  • Bombardier, better known for its lack of orders at air shows, landed a good one at Dubai.

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The data behind Emirates’ choice of 787-10

By Bjorn Fehrm

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November 16, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Yesterday we outlined the qualitative reasons why the Boeing 787-10 was selected for Emirates’ medium-range routes. Now we put figures behind the words.

We will quantify the weight and drag consequences of the tighter packaging of the 787 and discuss what it’s smaller wing means in field performance from a hot Dubai International Airport.

We use our airline performance model to give us the data, flying the aircraft over typical routes.


  • The A350-900 was designed for flights up to 15 to 20 hours.
  • To make these bearable, Airbus decided to offer 18-inch seat width in the nine abreast economy cabin.
  • Boeing went another route. It offered a slightly narrower fuselage and let the airlines decide between eight or nine abreast economy.
  • Only Japanse ANA and JAL chose the base layout with eight abreast economy (and ANA has since switched to nine abreast economy for new deliveries).
  • The result is an aircraft with lower empty weight and fuel burn (everything else being equal).
  • For the 787-10, Boeing combined the tighter packaged fuselage with a wing optimised for flights up to 12 hours.
  • The 787-10 consequently beats the A350-900 on efficiency for shorter routes.

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Historic day at Dubai Air Show

Nov. 15, 2017, © Leeham Co.: It was an historic day for commercial aviation at the Dubai Air Show.

Airbus and Indigo Partners announced an order for 430 aircraft (the A320neo family), a record in units and in value ($49.5bn).

Boeing announced a huge order from flyDubai, an affiliate of Emirates Airline, for 225 737 MAXes. Value: $27bn.

Parenthetically, CDB Leasing firmed up an order for 90 A320neo family members announced at the Paris Air Show.

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