DALLAS — Avoid scheduling any activities during the second week of November, as the entire commercial aviation industry will be focused on the largest air show in the Middle East.
The 2023 edition of the Dubai Air Show is expected to surpass all previous records, attracting airlines, manufacturers, and aviation companies from around the globe. This event marks a pivotal moment for the industry as it recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the first three trade days of the show, Airways will be in attendance, providing up-to-the-minute news on aircraft orders and agreements and engaging in meetings and discussions with key players in the market, particularly in the Middle Eastern region.
The Dubai Air Show will feature a remarkable array of surprises and captivating line-ups. We have compiled a list of confirmed aircraft that will participate in either static displays or flying exhibitions, making this edition of the Dubai Air Show the most extensive one to date.
Airbus Focuses on the A321
Commencing with the multinational manufacturer Airbus, the company will need to set exceptionally high expectations if it intends to surpass the achievements of the 2023 Paris Air Show. At PAS23, IndiGo (6E) placed an order for 500 A320 family aircraft, Airbus’ largest aircraft order yet.
During the Dubai Air Show, Airbus will largely maintain its existing portfolio, with the Airbus A321 family remaining the flagship product. The show will feature the display of two A321XLR units, along with a single A321-200P2F cargo variant, which is gradually gaining popularity among freighter companies.
However, additional aircraft will also be included. Joining the aforementioned models, the Airbus A330neo, which had a relatively unsuccessful performance at PAS2023, will return, adorned in the liveries of its customers rather than the company’s house colors. Additionally, making its debut in the private market, the A220ACJ will take center stage, showcasing the potential of the Airbus ACJ family.
Embraer Embraces Diversity
Prominent regional aircraft manufacturer Embraer will showcase a diverse lineup at the show, featuring the presence of four different aircraft, of which only one will be dedicated to passenger travel.
During the Paris Air Show, the company exhibited two E-195 E2 units, one painted in Embraer’s house colors and the other delivered to Helvetic Airways (2L). However, this time, the focus of potential customers will be directed towards just one of the family units.
In honor of this special occasion, Embraer has unveiled a new livery called “Tech Eagle” on registration PR-ZIQ. The aircraft now boasts a striking teal color scheme with a detailed eagle nose on the exterior of the cabin. The painting process was completed, and the aircraft was officially presented to the public at Maastricht Airport (MST) in the Netherlands.
Given that the Dubai Air Show takes place annually in the largest city of the United Arab Emirates, it is evident that the domestic airline industry will be a major focal point, particularly when it comes to the number of aircraft on display.
Emirates (EK), the national carrier, will participate in DAS2023 with a diverse lineup of up to five different aircraft, showcasing their extensive commercial travel offerings and pilot training programs. To highlight their latest advancements in passenger comfort, including recently updated premium classes, EK will bring an Airbus A380 and a Boeing 777-300ER to the show.
In terms of pilot training, EK will also exhibit three types of aircraft from their training fleet, namely the Diamond DA-42, Cirrus SR-22, and Embraer Phenom 500.
On the other hand, Etihad Airways (EY), based at the Abu Dhabi (AUH) superhub, will have a relatively smaller presence. Unlike their national competitor, they are expected to fly in only one Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Dubai World Central (DWC) for the show. Other notable members of their fleet, such as the new A350-1000 or the recently reintroduced A380, will not be the primary focus of the airline at DAS2023.
Qatar Airways to Bring Its Dreamliner
Qatar Airways (QR) has secured its presence at DAS2023, albeit with some changes in its fleet display compared to previous events.
The Airbus A350-1000 will once again take center stage, representing the airline’s portfolio at the show. However, this time, the A350-1000 will not be the sole representative of Qatar Airways’ commercial aviation offerings.
Additionally, QR will fly one of its latest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner units from Doha (DOH) to showcase its place in the airline’s operational strategy. Despite significant delays in its initial deliveries, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner has now established its
A Brand New Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be a significant focal point at the 2023 Dubai Air Show, as the country has experienced a complete transformation in its local aviation industry within a span of less than a year. This transformation includes the establishment of a new airline and the revitalization of its existing carrier.
Saudia (SV) and Riyadh Air (RX) will both have a presence at the show, with exciting announcements anticipated from both airlines. In terms of aircraft on display representing Saudi Arabia, there is a Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner adorned in SV’s recognizable new livery and an Airbus A320neo belonging to its low-cost subsidiary, Flyadeal (F3).
Riyadh Air, which made an impact in Paris with the unveiling of its first livery, will also capture attention by presenting a second design that will be applied to a Boeing 787-9. While it is yet to be confirmed, there is a possibility that both liveries may be showcased side by side at DAS2023.
Boeing—Conservative as Always
Turning our attention to the American giant Boeing, the manufacturer maintains a conservative approach, showcasing a portfolio similar to what has been seen in recent air shows. At the Dubai Air Show, potential customers will have the opportunity to evaluate the economic advantages offered by the Boeing 777X family, which is still awaiting certification.
Additionally, two Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft are expected to be exhibited at the event. One of them is rumored to feature the upcoming second design of Riyadh Air, while the other unit will likely be a demonstrator, possibly registered as N8290V, known as the “ecoDemonstrator Explorer” Boeing 787-10.
In terms of medium- and short-haul flights, the representation of the Boeing 737 MAX family has been consolidated under a major airline that recently announced a significant merger and restructuring. This includes the revamping of all livery designs and brand identities.
Other Key Appearances
Lastly, but certainly not of lesser importance, three notable appearances are expected to captivate attendees with their ambitious visions, innovative ideas, and potential impact on the industry.
Firstly, we have the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Boeing 777-300ERSF. This groundbreaking variant of the Triple Seven marks the first-ever cargo conversion for the successful 300ER stretch of the Boeing 777 family. Leveraging its impressive capacity and extended range, this aircraft has the potential to establish a new benchmark for converted freighters in the fiercely competitive air cargo market.
Secondly, entering a relatively niche market, a new airline named BeOnd will make its official debut at the Dubai Air Show. Positioned as the “first leisure premium airline,” BeOnd will showcase its fully-black Airbus A319, featuring a spaciously configured all-business class layout. The airline aims to provide luxurious leisure flights to and from the Maldives.
Finally, Air India (AI) will present the brand new, completely revamped national carrier at DAS 2023, unveiling the AIX Boeing 737-8 MAX adorned with the redesigned livery. This aircraft will be the sole physical representation of the Boeing 737 MAX family at the show, as it marks the first time in history that a house-painted aircraft from the “Baby Boeing” family will not be present.
The Forgotten Airplanes
Despite the extensive range of aircraft on display at this year’s Dubai Air Show, there are three specific airplanes that attendees will undoubtedly miss.
Firstly, while Airbus will indeed showcase the Airbus A220 family in its private-travel configuration, there will be no true commercial aircraft from the family to demonstrate the exceptional performance the jet has achieved since its introduction in 2014.
Additionally, there will be no ATR aircraft at the show. Nevertheless, ATR plans to exhibit its latest advancements in sustainability and comfort, so it is worth visiting its small stand to explore what the regional aircraft manufacturer has to offer.
Lastly, for the first time ever, Boeing will not include any house-painted aircraft from the Boeing 737 MAX family in its product portfolio. This means that none of the series’ variants, including the Boeing 737-7 and 737-10, will be present at Dubai World Central Airport next week. The certification process for these variants is still ongoing, with all approvals anticipated to be granted next year.
What are your expectations for the 2023 edition of the Dubai Air Show? Which orders are you hoping to see announced? Stay tuned to our social media channels and airwaysmag.com to receive real-time updates on all the industry’s breaking news from the Airways team, reporting live from DAS2023.
Featured image: Dubai Air Show