Here is some news in brief from Dubai Airshow 2021, which is held from November 14-18:
17 – After her week in Dubai at Dubai Airshow since November 9, the Boeing 777-9 test aircraft departed the event again on Thursday morning at 8.22 am local time. She did a 47 minutes flight to Qatar to show the aircraft to Qatar Airways, which ordered sixty of them as one of the first customers during the 2013 Dubai Airshow. Qatar-boss Akbar Al Baker was at the airport to welcome the aircraft and Boeing Commercial Aircraft CEO Stan Deal. Al Baker last saw this particular aircraft being assembled during a visit in September 2018. The 777-9 will continue her flight home to Seattle on November 18 but not without a stop in Frankfurt to present herself to Lufthansa. The German airline has fourteen -9s on order.
17 – Airbus announced a number of service contracts on the fourth day of Dubai Airshow. Middle East Airlines has become the 50th airline to subscribe to the Skywise Health Monitoring system, which allows the airline to keep track real-time of the status of various systems and parts. This will help the maintenance of the A320 and A330 fleet and reduce the time an aircraft has to be on the ground for checks and repairs. Ther OEM also announced contracts with Air Tanzania and Uganda Airways for Flight Hour Services (FHS) to support the fleet of both airlines. This includes on-site stock of parts for Air Tanzania’s A220s and Uganda Airways’ A330neo’s.
17 – Etihad Engineering announced a contract with Virgin Australia for the maintenance of the airline’s Boeing 737-800 fleet. Etihad will execute heavy maintenance and modifications for the thirty 737s in Virgin’s fleet. The work will be done in Abu Dhabi at Etihad’s MRO base.
16 – Emirates announced that it will continue a huge conversion plan to upgrade a large part of its fleet with the new Premium Economy class. It will convert 53 Boeing 777-300ERs and 52 Airbus A380 with the product, which was introduced on newly delivered A380s in 2020. The retrofit will begin by the end of 2022 and will take eighteen months to be completed. Retrofitting has always been the plan, but the positive response from customers confirms that the airline wants to continue the cabin upgrade.
The airline also signed an MoU with GE Aviation to develop a program to fly the GE90-powered Boeing 777-300ER of 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). A flight test is planned for late 2022. The initiative fits Emirates’ ambition to reduce its carbon footprint. The carrier has frequently used SAF since 2017.
15 – Emirates has placed an order for two incremental Boeing 777Fs to grow its fleet of ten aircraft, it announced. But of more interest is that the Dubai-airline has tasked Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to convert four 777-300ER into freighters. The first conversion will happen in 2023. Until a year ago, Israel and the United Arab Emirates didn’t have any diplomatic relations.
15 – Boeing also extended its supplier contract for titanium parts with Russia’s VSMPO-AVISMA. The contract covers parts for existing Boeing models and future ones while developing new alloys and technologies. “The signing of the memorandum strengthens our position as a reliable partner to Boeing for many years to come. For us, it means confidence in our titanium products and recognition of their high quality,” said Dmitry Osipov, CEO of VSMPO-AVISMA. “Stable long-term relationships with Boeing enable VSMPO-AVISMA to focus on expanding our investment program and developing our production capacity, as well as to continue implementing ESG-principles in our operations.”
15 – More Boeing news: it has won a contract from DHL Express to convert nine 767-300ERs into full freighters, confirming its need for more aircraft. DHL has taken delivery of seven out of eight from a previous order that has been leased to partners in the Middle East and Latin America.
15 – Etihad signed contracts with multiple manufacturers, suppliers, and stakeholders to expand its sustainability program. One of the contracts was signed with Rolls-Royce to include its XWB-powered A350 in the airline’s Greenliner program, while Etihad extended the agreement with General Electric on the GENx-powered Boeing 787s. The Abu Dhabi airline wants to reduce emissions from its passenger fleet by twenty percent in 2025, by fifty percent in 2035, and be net-zero in 2050 compared to 2019 levels. In the picture are Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal, Etihad CEO Tony Douglas, and GE Aviation CEO John Slattery.
15 – Saudia Airlines has signed a contract with Boeing for its Optimized Maintenance Program and health management for its 777 and 787 fleet. This includes systems that predict when maintenance is required. Boeing will also assist the airline during the reconfiguration of aircraft interiors.