$75bn of plane orders were secured on Day 3 of the Dubai Air Show by the Boeing-Airbus duopoly. Earlier in the week, Emirates’ announcement to place a $15bn order with Boeing for 40 787 Dreamliners came as a surprise to the market, particularly given the expectation of a similar sized deal by the UAE-based airline with Airbus. Over the course of the show, Boeing has placed further pressure on Airbus with additional ‘billion dollar’ plus deals with Ethiopian Airlines ($1.3bn) and Kuwait’s ALFACO ($2.2bn).
Whilst negotiations are still underway between Airbus and Emirates, the European aircraft manufacturer landed its own record-breaking mega deal. Airbus’ sale of 430 A320s to US private equity Indigo Partners for $50bn (at list price) is the largest commercial plane deal in Airbus’ history. The planes are to be leased across Indigo’s ‘low-cost’ airline portfolio, which includes Frontier Airlines (US), Jetsmart (Chile), Volaris (Mexico) and Wizz Air (Hungary).
Whilst the announcement might have initially trumped the ‘Boeing-Emirates’ deal, Airbus entered the air show considerably lagging the US manufacturer in terms of annual order book. Just two hours later, Boeing revealed its second high profile order of the show and its own record-breaking order from a Middle Eastern airline, with the sale of 225 aircraft to AirDubai for $27bn (at list prices).
The activity over the last few days and prospective pipeline of aircraft to be delivered across Boeing and Airbus demonstrates the forthcoming investment across the global aerospace supply chain. Pricing pressure on suppliers is likely to follow and consolidation is likely to be sustained for the next three to five years to meet these pressures. Furthermore, aircraft manufacturers will seek to work with more financially secure suppliers as their reliance on the supply chain increases even further.
US private equity firm places near $50 billion jet order with Airbus, one of the biggest aviation deals in history