DUBAI, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Middle East carriers look set to order tens of billions of dollars of long-haul jets at the opening of the Dubai Airshow on Monday, as Emirates renews confidence in the delayed Boeing 777X while facing new competition from rivals like Turkish Airlines.
Hosts Emirates and low-cost cousin flyDubai are expected to stamp their mark early on the world’s second-largest aerospace event, industry sources said, despite concerns about a drop in the economically key travel sector due to Mideast tensions.
That includes a new order for several dozen Boeing 777X jets, they said, in a boost for the programme amid ongoing uncertainty over the schedule for the world’s largest twin-engined jet, currently expected in 2025 after a five-year delay.
People familiar with the flagship programme have said the risks are weighted toward further delays as Boeing first gauges the impact of tighter certification rules on other projects. Boeing said on Friday there was no change to its schedule.
Emirates is the world’s largest user of wide-body jets, including Airbus A380 superjumbos and current-generation Boeing 777s. It has publicly said it is considering more orders of the upgraded 777X as well as the Airbus A350 and smaller Boeing 787.
Of these, the 787 is least likely to feature immediately.
FlyDubai flies Boeing 737 MAX narrowbody jets, which compete with the Airbus A320neo, and is set to order more planes in that category this week, sources said.
Emirates, Airbus (AIR.PA) and Boeing declined comment.
Industry officials estimate airlines worldwide are negotiating behind the scenes to buy some 700-800 new jets, including 200-300 of the world’s largest, as they catch up on fleet replacement plans set aside during the pandemic.
How many of those bear fruit in time for the Nov. 13-17 show…