Boeing inks $1.3bn Ethiopian Airlines deal for 777 freighters
Bombardier wins $2.2bn CSeries orders from EgyptAir
DUBAI: Boeing Co inked a $1.3 billion deal yesterday to sell four 777 freighters to Ethiopian Airlines as an aircraft provider to a Kuwaiti carrier resuming operations tentatively agreed to buy 25 Airbus A320neos. Chicago-based Boeing and Ethiopian, Africa’s largest cargo operator, made the announcement at the biennial Dubai Air Show, which continues through tomorrow.
Boeing 777 freighters have a list price of $325.7 million. However, airlines and manufacturers typically negotiate discounts on such deals. Later yesterday, Airbus announced the tentative sale of the A320neos to Golden Falcon Aviation, the exclusive airplane provider to Wataniya Airways. Wataniya, a private company, resumed operations in July after the company folded in 2011 over financial difficulties amid the Arab Spring protests that gripped the Mideast.
At list price, the 25 A320neos would be worth $2.7 billion. Two-engine, single-aisle A320neos can seat a maximum of 180 passengers. This year’s air show has seen less sales than in past years. The only major deal announced so far came Sunday, when long-haul carrier Emirates purchased 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners in a $15.1 billion deal.
So far, there’s been little news for Airbus, which has pinned hopes of continuing production of its A380 double-decker jumbo jet on Emirates, the world’s largest operator of the aircraft. Reports circulated before the air show that a major A380 sale would be coming.
Airbus employees even filled a news conference on Sunday, expecting the A380 sale, instead to find state-owned Emirates making the deal with Boeing in front of Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum.
Emirates now relies solely on the Airbus 380 and the Boeing 777 for its flights, making it the largest operator of both. It now has 165 Boeing 777s in its fleet today and took possession of its 100th A380 earlier this month.
Canadian aircraft maker Bombardier said yesterday it had agreed to sell up to 24 CSeries aircraft to EgyptAir for a total price tag of nearly $2.2 billion. According to a letter of intent signed between both companies, the Egyptian carrier placed 12 firm orders for CS300 planes and took out purchase rights for another 12, Bombardier said in a statement released during the Dubai air show.
“We undertook a thorough evaluation process of our fleet and realised that the CS300 would fit perfectly into our business plans and growth strategy,” EgyptAir CEO Safwat Musallam said in the statement. Bombardier Commercial Aircraft President Fred Cromer said the deal “confirms the need for right-sized aircraft in the Middle East. We are confident that our small single-aisle C Series is ideally-suited to serve the hot temperature environments of the region”. The deal is the second firm order for Bombardier aircraft since last month’s announcement that European plane maker Airbus would take over Bombardier’s CSeries program.
The previous sale covered 31 aircraft for an unidentified European client. Bombardier’s single-aisle CSeries program covers the 100 to 150-seat segment and is comprised of the CS100 model and the larger CS300. EgyptAir, founded in 1932, is the oldest airline in the Middle East and Africa, and Egypt’s national airline, flying to 70 destinations in 60 countries. Bombardier in October ceded control of the CSeries to Airbus, abandoning hope of ascending into the top echelons of passenger aircraft manufacturing alongside rivals Airbus and Boeing, but securing US market access for its new jetliners.
The European aircraft manufacturer took a 50.1-percent stake in the CSeries program in exchange for using its sales and marketing heft to lift CSeries sales. The CSeries is the first new design in the 100 to 150-seat category in more than 25 years, and only recently started to roll off assembly lines. —Agencies
DUBAI: Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum (right), looks at an Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet during the Dubai Airshow yesterday in the United Arab Emirates. —AFP