BILL READ and HARRY LAWSON report from the second day of the Dubai 2015 airshow where business resumed with a bang with $30bn worth of new orders.

The show marches on. Visitors on Monday were entertained by a military band marching through the exhibition hall.

Following the unnatural quiet of yesterday as far as new orders were concerned, the second day of the Dubai Airshow saw business resume with a bang as the long-awaited flood of business deals finally start to appear. Official show statistics claimed a total of $30bn of new purchases had been placed by the end of the day. The press conferences also finally kicked off with some announcing new business and others providing useful backgrounds to specialist industry sectors. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights.

Jet Airways ends Dubai sales drought

The MAX in Indian skies. (Boeing)

With the first day notable by a lack of the usual Dubai mega orders, it was Indian carrier Jet Airways which provided some news by confirming a $8bn order for 75 new Boeing 737 MAXs,

Saab springs a show surprise


A defence order out of the blue went to Saab from the UAE. (Saab)

Saab has signed a $1.27bn contract with the UAE to expand and enhance the Emirates’ airborne surveillance capabilities using a new airborne Swing Role Surveillance System (SRSS) fitted to two modified Global 6000s. Incorporating a new version of the Saab Erieye radar system, the system is capable of simultaneous detection and tracking of multiple targets in the air, on land and at sea. 



Today was a good day for engine manufacturer CFM

Following on from its 75 737 MAX order, Jet Airways placed an order for 150 CFM LEAP-1B engines to power the new aircraft. CFM also announced an eight-year time & materials support agreement with Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines to cover a total of 90 shop visits for CFM56-7B engines powering its fleet of 737-800. The latter agreement, which also includes the purchase for four spare engines, is valued at $500m.

Abu Dhabi-based investment and development company Mubadala and GE Aviation are to establish a regional GEnx engine MRO facility at the Nibras Al Ain Aerospace Park in Abu Dhabi.

Philippine Airlines signed an MoU with Pratt & Whitney to power its order of 15 firm plus 15 purchase right A321neos.

GE has opened its new Middle East Aviation Technology Center in the Dubai Airport Free Zone to support customer operations on both aircraft engines and systems.


Eurofighter capability boost as first Storm Shadow release test takes place

Storm Shadow will give the Eurofighter a long-range punch. (Eurofighter)

Present at the show line in mock-up form is the Eurofighter Typhoon. Already in service in the Middle East with the Royal Saudi Air Force, the Eurofighter is proving popular outside of Europe, with a selection by Kuwait in the last month. BAE and Eurofighter’s focus is now about delivering phase two (P2E) enhancements to the multi-role combat aircraft. Not only is the Typhoon operating in two Middle Eastern fronts but it is also policing the airspace above the Baltic States, Iceland and the Falkland Islands. Sensor and data link upgrades that come as part of the phase one and phase two packages, have allowed the pilot to see through the fog of war. Both the passive infra-red active track equipment (PIRATE) and the Captor-E scanner, combined with datalinks to other air, land and sea assets create a battle space in which the Eurofighter will fire the first shot of the engagement. System upgrades open the door for new payloads. Meanwhile a key yest was passed when MBDA’s Storm Shadow missile was released by a Eurofighter in a test on a UK range this November. Eurofighter says that the introduction of the Storm Shadow to the Typhoon’s arsenal will provide a significant leap in the aircraft’s capability and is set to deliver the RAF and the Italian Air Force with a long range missile capable of striking precision  targets. Future capability enhancements for the Typhoon include the continued upgrade of data links and sensor systems, as well as the integration of MBDA’s Brimstone 2 missiles. The inclusion of Brimstone 2 in a Eurofighter’s payload would enable it to carry out additional air-to-surface missions, against moving and naval targets.

Eurofighter’s introduction to the Middle East has taken longer than initially expected. But capability upgrades have seen the Typhoon become a favourite of the RSAF and an aircraft comparable to the F-22 in performance and operational capability.

A 'historic' year for P&W's PurePower engine

The PW1900G for the Embraer E-2 jet recently began flight tests. (Pratt & Whitney)

Pratt and Whitney announced that this quarter of 2015 has been ‘historic’ for its PurePower PW1000G engine family. The engine integrated onto Airbus’s A320neo has helped the aircraft make its first flight and is helping the A320neo meet its fuel consumption targets. The A320neo has received a 35K thrust rating at altitude. When questioned if Pratt and Whitney are ready to meet demand now Airbus has revealed it will be stepping up production rates, Greg Gernhardt, President, Commercial Engines, explained that the company is ready to meet any demand.  Its engines installed on Mitsubishis Regional Jet (MRJ) and Bombardiers CSeries aircraft family are currently undergoing flight testing. Pratt and Whitney continue to gain orders for its PurePower engine family. So far it has received 7,000 orders from 70 customers.

IAG firms up Airbus orders

Two A330-300s will boost Aer Lingus's widebody fleet. (Airbus)

Later in the day, it Airbus's turn to celebrate ink on contracts when IAG firmed up orders for 19 airliners (4 x A330s and 15 A320neos). IAG airlines Iberia and Aer Lingus will each get two A330s apiece, while the A320neos will be distribed within the group.  

GE gets $16bn worth of support work

Meanwhile - in a massive MRO tie-up, Emirates signed a $16bn engine services deal with GE Aviation for the UAE airline’s GE9X-powered 150-strong Boeing 777X fleet. This is Emirates’ largest single engine MRO contract to date. Emirates also signed a second services contract with GE Aviation for its existing 777 fleet for a further 12 years valued at $36m.

EQUIPMENT deals at Dubai


Adel Ali-CEO Air Arabia and Dr Johannes Bussmann-CEO Lufthansa Technik (LHT).

Lufthansa Technik AG and Sharjah-based low-cost carrier Air Arabia signed three year component contract radome repair for Air Arabia's A320 fleet. In addition LHT will also provide Air Arabia with spare unit support. The repair work will be done at Lufthansa Technik's facility in Dubai (Lufthansa Technik Middle East Services).

Singapore Airlines has selected the Global Xpress (GX) Aviation in-flight wi-fi systems from Honeywell. The first system is due to be installed onto SA’s Boeing 777-300ER in the second half of 2016, followed by its A380-800s. Using the system, passengers will be able to send social media updates and emails and live streaming TV.

Jazeera Airways is to install Rockwell Collins PAVES cabin wireless and Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) high speed connectivity on its fleet of seven Airbus A320s.

Dubai Airports announced the commissioning of Project Falcon, a 58km long jet fuel pipeline that will link ENOC’s storage terminal in Jebel Ali with Dubai International Airport (DXB). The $250m pipeline also includes provisions for future needs of Al Maktoum Airport.

SERVICES in the spotflight


A still from SAEI’s promotional video showing how the site will look when it opens at the end of next year

Saudi Arabia-based maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI) gave details of the progress on its new 1m square metre MRO facilities at King Abdul-Aziz Airport in Jeddah. The SR 2.87bn facility is set for completion by the end of 2016 and will provide aircraft, engines and component maintenance with  11 hangars, 28 aircraft component shops, warehouses, dedicated centres for ground support equipment and design and manufacturing. At present the bulk of SAEI’s business comes from MRO services for Saudi Arabian Airlines but it hopes that the new centre will enable it to expand into third party work both for civil and military aircraft.

Bell Helicopter announced a letter of intent with Horizon International Flight Academy at Al Ain Airport to become the first Bell Helicopter authorised training centre in the Middle East.

GE Aviation and Dubai’s Museum of the Future have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to accelerate innovation and advanced technology around the world. Due to open in 2017, the Museum of the Future is a new initiative to serve as an incubator for ideas and futuristic innovations, focusing on tangible examples and working prototypes to demonstrate and predict the technologies of the future.

Meanwhile, UAE national carrier Etihad signed a MoU with Abu Dhabi investment and development firm Mubadala worth a potential US$1bn. The ten-year agreement covers a range of new contracts and would see Etihad appoint Mubadala’s SR Technics as its preferred service provider.




Proof that the Middle East is a growth area for business aircraft is evident by the number on display at the show

Gama Aviation has released a report which says that are now 792 business aircraft in the Middle East, 176 of which were delivered between 2010 and 2014. Other findings include the fact that Saudi Arabia has the biggest fleet of business aircraft with a total of 188 and that 70% of the region’s business aircraft are mid to heavy or jet airliners, compared to 31% for the global fleet.

Bombardier is to deliver Global 5000 biz-jets to two unspecified Middle Eastern customers.



Pictured at the official commissioning of Lockheed Martin's new permanent chalet are Marillyn A. Hewson, Chairman, President and CEO of Lockheed Martin and Homaid Al Shemmari, CEO Aerospace & Engineering Services (Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin held a ceremony to commemorate the opening of a permanent new chalet facility at Dubai World Central to demonstrate the strength and depth of the company's partnership with the UAE and the wider Gulf region. Lockheed Martin and its predecessor companies have had a presence in the UAE for nearly 50 years. In December 2015 it opened a Center for Innovation and Security Solutions (CISS) at Masdar Institute, Abu Dhabi to help train the next generation of Emirati engineers and scientists.

Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin  won a $262.8m contract from the US Air Force for sustainment of Saudi Arabia’s F-15 sensor suite, including Sniper advanced targeting pods (ATP), LANTIRN extended range navigation pods and infrared search and track (IRST) systems.




Spotted on the stands – the toy that every aspiring young warlord needs - the Official Military Play Set

The AEROSPACE team will be reporting on the latest news from the show in daily blogs throughout this week, so keep checking on each day. You can also get updates from the show through our reporter Harry Lawson’s tweets on @WhizzBangAnD



10 November 2015