DAS2023 Days 3-4 Recap: Affection for the A350

DAS2023 Days 3-4 Recap: Affection for the A350

DUBAI — The Dubai Airshow 2023 is nearing its end, with the last days filled with displays, negotiations, and announcements. Despite the show coming to a close, airlines and manufacturers have deliberately saved some of the most exciting order news for these final days.

During days 3 and 4 of the Dubai Airshow 2023, the Airbus A350 XWB emerged as the aircraft that showcased clear leadership. Airbus’ flagship model received over 25 orders from two major customers in the Afro-Eurasian region.

For this post, we’ll delve into the details of which airlines placed orders during these last two days, the context surrounding these orders, and the expectations associated with them.

Ethiopian A350. Image: Boeing
Ethiopian Airlines’ A350. Image: Boeing

Day 3: Ethiopian Airlines Keeps Adding Widebodies

The beast was not satisfied with the massive order of 67 Boeing airplanes. Ethiopian Airlines (ET), in its pursuit of further growth in the long-haul sector, added more than 31 firm orders and 36 options yesterday. The flag carrier decided to diversify its fleet and enter into a deal with Airbus.

The African carrier announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the potential purchase of 11 Airbus A350-900 aircraft. While this commitment does not indicate any firm order, it does create the possibility of delaying the airline’s intention to expand its A350 order book to a total of 33 units.

Ethiopian Airlines is often regarded as a strong competitor to the massive Middle Eastern superhub airlines like Emirates (EK) and Qatar Airways (QR) within the aviation community. The airline’s CEO, Mesfin Tasew, has expressed the airline’s ambitions to elevate its position and rank among the top 20 airlines by the year 2035.

Image: Boeing

Day 4: Emirates Orders Start and End the Dubai Airshow

During the opening day of the DAS2023, EK broke the ice by placing an order for 125 aircraft from Boeing. Over the next decade, the airline plans to add 90 Boeing 777X and 35 Boeing 787 Dreamliners to its fleet.

In the subsequent days of the airshow, the host airline shifted its focus toward establishing partnerships and promoting its inflight products, such as the newly introduced Premium Economy class on the Airbus A380. However, today, EK signed another order with Airbus, albeit smaller in scale, for the addition of 15 more A350-900s in the future.

With this latest announcment, EK’s total order for the Airbus flagship now stands at 65 units, with deliveries expected to commence in 2024. The inaugural flight of the A350-900 is anticipated to operate on the route connecting Dubai International Airport (DXB) with the Australian city of Adelaide (ADL).

Featured image: Adrian Nowakowski/Airways

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Correspondent - Europe & Middle East
Commercial aviation enthusiast from Madrid, Spain. Studying for a degree in Air Traffic Management and Operations at the Technical University of Madrid. Aviation photographer since 2018.

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