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May 27, 2024
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The Dubai Air Show the week of November 13 will have a fair number of orders to announce by the Middle Eastern carriers and a small number of non-Gulf customers.

Some of these orders have been widely leaked already:

  • Emirates is expected to announce another large number of A380s.
  • Qatar is expected to double its small number of A380s to 10. This was supposed to be announced at the Paris Air Show, but Akbar Al-Baker, CEO of the airline, no-showed at an Airbus press conference already filled with a room full of people. This A380 and a large one for A320neos was to be announced at the Paris Air Show. Both should be announced at Dubai. The A320neo numbers 50 and should be with the PW GTF engine.
  • Qatar is also expected to announce its engine selection for the 787: GEnx. Gosh, ya think there might be a connection with the GE/GEnx compensation negotiations between Qatar board members on the Cargolux board and this engine choice? Qatar may also announce the GE/PW Engine Alliance choice for the A380s.
  • Bombardier is expected to identify the customers of one or two of the CSeries orders announced at the Paris Air Show. It is possible BBD will have one or two other announcements, but don’t expect Qatar to be one of them. Al-Baker continues to torture BBD with contradictory public statements about his interest in the airplane. We are all but certain BBD won’t land Qatar at Dubai.
  • One or more lessors are expected to announce orders.
  • Airbus is likely to have a very good run of A320neo orders.
  • Boeing will still be “talking to its customers” about the 737 MAX specifications.
  • PW will likely make a pretty good comeback in orders for its GTF. Recall that PW ran the table in early NEO orders, only to have CFM surpass PW at the Paris Air Show. But also remember that CFM’s deals at Paris included the family affair with GECAS, which by policy only orders GE-family engines; and a CFM/GECAS bailout of ailing Frontier Airlines, a subsidiary of Republic Airways, that involved restructured leases, restructured CFM56 maintenance agreements and the NEO and CFM LEAP order. Eliminate these family deals and the score between CFM and PW came out of Paris more evenly matched.

We don’t have a feel for what Embraer may do at Dubai, but Goldman Sachs issued this note November 2:

It sounds as if ERJ is strongly leaning toward not developing and building a new family of larger (more than 120 seats) aircraft for now, and not immediately upgrading the engine on the E190/195 either. The company says it believes it could develop such a family of aircraft with limited technical risk and at a reasonable development cost, but that it can not dismiss the overwhelming market acceptance of the A320-NEO and 737-MAX and the challenge those have presented the C-Series, and adds that its own internal market research and customer conversations line up with that view in a very clear way. We strongly agree with this strategy, and believe it would have been a mistake to move into the Boeing/Airbus territory today, that ERJ can still make that move further down the road long term, and that it has plenty of ways to grow in a very significant way (dominating the 90 seat market, continuing its move in to the business jet market, winning larger Brazilian Defense orders) for several years without a larger commercial jet.

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