This year was Airbus’ biggest ever in Dubai, with 142 firm orders worth $40.4bn and a further 26 options totalling $3.6bn. “This region is booming and so they have a lot of ambition, they have a lot of growth, so they need a lot of aeroplanes, so yes, it was crazy when you put all the numbers together, absolutely,” Bregier says.
“We’ve always been very present in the region, of course. If we take Etihad, they started with Airbus aircraft ten years ago. With Emirates we also have a long-lasting relationship. Qatar Airways, for instance, was the launch customer of the A350, while Emirates is by far the biggest customer of the A380, with 140 aircraft ordered. Etihad has also become a very big customer of the A350 with the Airshow’s order of an additional 50 aircraft, so we know them very well. We are very close to them [and] we support their operations.”
The additional orders also will lead to more aircraft manufacturing in the region, particularly in the UAE through Abu Dhabi’s investment vehicle Mubadala’s aerospace production business Strata. The company, based in Al Ain, signed $5bn worth of new contracts with both Airbus and Boeing during the Dubai Airshow.
Airbus has been working with firm since its inception. “Strata is quite impressive because we started together in 2008 or 2009 and they have now achieved a level of performance which allows them to look for bigger packages, bigger parts of aerostructure,” Bregier says. “We’re continuously talking to them.”
Based on the interview with Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier published in Arabian Business