MIAMI – Airbus finished first at the 2021 Dubai Airshow with 412 new aircraft orders while Boeing registered 1/4 of that with a total of 101 orders.

Regardless of the final order tally, these new orders signal that the commercial aviation sector is recovering from the fallout of the pandemic. It also shows how new, and more efficient aircraft are popular among airlines.

The big winners in terms of orders were the Airbus A320 family aircraft, the Boeing 737 MAX series aircraft, and freighter aircraft.

The A350 was at the Dubaï Air Shox this week. Photo: Daniel Gorun/Airways

Airbus Performs Well


The Dubaï Air Show allowed airlines to order 412 aircraft from Airbus. In a press release, the manufacturer showed how well the aviation event went for the company.

Airbus’s new plane orders include 269 firm orders, as well as 143 commitments. Those orders covered “the full range of commercial aircraft families, including a first commitment for the A350F freighter derivative.”

On the first day, Indigo partners airlines, Wizz Air (W6), Frontier (F9), Volaris (Y4), and Jet Smart (JA), ordered a total of 255 A321neo family aircraft, including 29 A321XLR. You can read more about this order in our article.

On the second day of the show, Air Lease Corporation (ALC) ordered 111 aircraft covering all Airbus families, with 25 A220-300s, 55 A321neos, 20 A321XLRs, four A330neos, and the first order for seven A350 Freighters.

On the third day, Jazeera Airways (J9) committed to 21 A321neos, and “Nigeria’s Ibom Air became a new Airbus customer with a firm order for 10 A220s.”

Finally, Airbus signed a formal MoU with CMA CGM on Friday for four aircraft of the upcoming A350F freighter.

Airbus also sold some military aircraft, with two Airbus A330MRTT sold to the United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defence, and two A400M ordered from the Indonesian Ministry of Defence.

“At a pre-show event, Airbus launched its latest global market forecast outlining progressively shifting demand from fleet growth to accelerated retirement of older, less fuel-efficient aircraft resulting in a need for some 39,000 new-built-passenger and freighter aircraft.”

Airbus even lit up the Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world, with its logo on the eve of the airshow.

The Boeing 737 MAX gained orders at the Dubaï air Show. Photo: Nick Sheeder/ Airways

Fewer Orders for Boeing


On its part, Boeing registered 101 aircraft orders, the majority narrowbodies, specifically from the 737 MAX family. Freighter aircraft were also ordered, and some airlines expressed their interest in a cargo version of the new 777X.

On the second day of the show, a new Indian airline, Akasa Air, ordered 72 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Freighter sales were also a success for Boeing, as Icelease ordered 11 of its Boeing 737-800BCF, DHL took nine 767-300BCF conversions, and Emirates SkyCargo two long-range 777F.

“The freighter markets are on fire right now. That’s where we see real growth,” declared Boeing’s executive vice president of Boeing, Stan Deal.

The Cargo market has always been very important for Boeing, as its European rival Airbus was not so competitive in this market. However, the launch of the brand new A350F, a freighter version of the A350, could threaten Boeing, as the new type could be very competitive against the 777F.

The new Airbus widebody cargo aircraft may push the American manufacturer to launch the freighter version of its 777X. We’ll just have to wait and see.


Featured image: Airbus