Dubai Airshow Opened Its Gates To The Aviation Industry; Here’s Everything To Know

Dubai’s annual air show kicked off on Sunday, November 14. To a world, still blinded from the pandemic. Plus, an aviation industry hard-hit by the coronavirus but restoring. Boeing and Airbus have originally been the stars of the aviation trade show. Competing for multibillion-dollar Gulf-based airline purchases & knocking out final details. That too, minutes before back-to-back news conferences. This year, however, the five-day exhibition is expected to be more muted than in the past. Well, due to the hushed state of flying & travel amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

One Of The Largest & Most Successful Airshows In The World

The air show’s first day drew eyes toward defence & military hardware. That included countries such as Russia and Israel. The day’s blockbuster commercial deal by Airbus was a sale of 255 new aircraft to Indigo Partners’ low-cost carriers. The agreement observes purchases of 102 new planes by Wizz Air of Hungary. 91 by Frontier in the U.S. 39 by Mexico’s Volaris & 23 by South American JetSmart. The package counts a mix of A321neo & A321XLR aircraft. At Airbus’ pre-pandemic list prices, the order would total more than $30 billion.

Airbus also secured an order for two additional A330 aerial refuelling aircraft. With the United Arab Emirates air force, bringing to five the country’s Airbus multirole tanker transport fleet. The star on the platform outside the exhibition hall was Russia’s Checkmate fighter jet. Which was shown to the media in a custom-built hangar. With a display of laser lights bouncing off a mirrored ceiling.

Picture Credits: Gulf News

Dubai Airshow: Bigger, Roaring And Vivacious

In a theatrical promotional video, the Checkmate rocketed through burnt orange skies. Blasting away targets in the desert as music blared in the background. And, a thundering voice-over rattled off the plane’s features. Also, more than 100 U.S. companies are exhibiting at the air show. Including defence giants Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Meanwhile, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro roamed the airstrip outside the booth of Brazilian aerospace company Embraer. Inspecting the interior of the company’s hulking C-390 Millennium transport aircraft. Smiling and waving to crowds of reporters. French Defense Minister Florence Parly surveyed the diversity of helicopters. And, maritime patrol aircraft at the Airbus Pavilion. Surrounded by French airmen in uniform.

Boeing brought its new 777-9 passenger jet from Seattle in the longest flight to date for the aircraft. As it undergoes continued tests and awaits regulatory approval. Boeing says it will be the world’s largest and most efficient twin-engine jet. The Middle East’s largest carrier, Emirates, has ordered 126 of these 777X.

Airbus took journalists through a version of the A320neo. Which had been converted into a luxury corporate jet replete with a large bed. Not all either, a walk-in shower and sprawling sitting area with couches and coffee tables. China’s state-owned defence firm CATIC displayed a range of anti-aircraft missiles. Munitions and fighter jets.

Also read: Just A Selfie Is All You Will Need To Check Into Dubai Airport In Future!

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An Exclusively Built ‘Drone Dome’ Drew Attention Displayed By Israel Aerospace Industries

Israeli companies exhibited their hardware for the first time at the air show. After Israel’s normalization of diplomatic ties with the UAE last year. The state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries company showed off manned & unmanned naval and aerial drones. Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems displayed its drone dome. That detects and destroys drones with lasers. In all, six Israeli companies are taking part in the air show.

The air show is taking place near Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport. A second & smaller international hub to Dubai’s main airport. Which is the world’s busiest for international travel. Although commercial travel remains uncertain amid the pandemic, cargo volumes are already above pre-pandemic levels. Some airlines have ripped out seats on their grounded passenger flights & transformed their aircraft into cargo planes.

On the back of that growing demand, Boeing announced plans to add three conversion lines. One in the United Kingdom and two in Canada. To convert commercial aircraft to freight carriers. Boeing also signed an order with Release for 11 of its 737 freighters.

Also read: Dubai Gets A New $82 Billion Commercial Airport And Here’s Everything You Need To Know!

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