by Bikram Vohra
IADB: Dubai 2021 is certainly giving Airbus a great deal of sunshine. In another major deal following the mega sale to Indigo on day one it won a $3.3 billion deal to sell 28 new aircraft to Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways. The deal includes 20 single-aisle A320neos and eight A321neos. There is still a hold on the option of five more aircraft in the near future.
The third day also focused attention on the freighter market, the subject sparked by was quoted by CNBC as saying, “The freighter markets are on fire right now. That’s where we see real growth.” The accent seems to be on dedicated fleets and the combat zone in the larger segment would be between the A350F and the Boeing 777F. The Airbus version will be slightly shorter than the 350-1000 but hopes to exploit the current global inclination towards online purchase of perishables with the emphasis on freshness.
And bucking the global trend at the top end Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed, chairman and chief executive of Emirates airline and group, told the media that the carrier would be reintroducing up to 60 A380s into service as the demand picks up. There is some optimism to it.
And into the future Balkiz Sarihan, Airbus head of urban air mobility strategy execution and partnerships told the media IANS was on schedule for the CityAirbus NextGen eVTOL aircraft enterprise. She said she hoped to gain EASA certification in 2025 and have a prototype make its first flight in 2023.
Also spiking interest was Wieland Timm from Lufthansa Technik when he discussed “the huge market for VIP Jets in the region, how they are now catering to a younger generation looking for a new lifestyle, and all the gimmicks, on board.”
Of no less importance than the headline grabbing sales deals are the major conferences being held to discuss a common issue through many prisms: the way forward. The 2 day Cargo Connect meet is very popular and of keen interest to the industry as freight helps pick up slack in the bottom line. Global Air traffic management and safety as airlanes get gridlocked is another biggie. And if you wish to take a peep into tomorrow there is the Space Forum. The conference on day one between Defence Chiefs highlighted the military aspect of the airshow and set the tone for some enlightening exchange of views.