Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Dubai and The Tip Of The Wing

So far the airshow is like an Iceberg. Ninety percent is underwater and only the tip is exposed. Egypt Air is in talks with with Boeing for a half dozen 787 before the show opening and Emirates is trying to squeeze Airbus out of some of its old A-380 ideas.

Boeing has a folding wing tip coming into the show which could make things miserable for Airbus' chance of more A-380 sales. Its been noticed by Winging It that as often as Airbus talks about A-380 prospects, it mentions how easily the A-380 is even fitting into regional airports?  Of course that reference could mean a desert airport with copious amounts of sand at the end of the runway. The only jet in the sight of view is the A-380 unloading at some glassed over building having bus service going to the next oasis near-by.

Tongue and cheek humor is the attempt at parking the A-380 in a regional airport and Airbus should know better than quoting how it fits-in everywhere! That is why Airbus is selling about two a year to its airline customers and it hopes for another fifty coming from Emirates at the November airshow. 

Source: Getty
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Behind the scenes is not a spectator sport and Boeing is digging sand as fast as it sloughs back in during a sand storm. The expectation is some big announcement surprising the aviation world. Boeing hopes for a long delayed big order from Emirates, those same guys are in talks with Airbus for a new updated A-380 order. 

If Boeing were to win the day at Dubai, Emirates would have to change its business strategy away from the A-380 towards the 777X. However, a small observation shows it ordered 142 of the A-380 with 42 remaining on back order and it also has ordered 150 of the 777X from the last show in 2013. The big elephant in the room is the 777X and not the A-380 since it has already received 100 of the A-380.

So there should not have any additional 777X orders at this year's show. The only outlying is the 787-9 or  787-10. It could fill a Emirates fleet completeness with fifty ordered in a combination of the 787's. Its only speculation at this point and no rumor is floating on that matter. 

The show remains a mystery for orders where Boeing should pick up a sampling of wide body orders rather than having a domination of orders coming from one or two customers. The dark horse is the 737 Max family where a surprising number of the single aisle orders could come in as it is overdue for some more middle eastern love.

The concluding opinion, Dubai is an airshow and not a swap meet. The tradition of order announcements remain a mystery. The expectation of a large order announcement is confined to the life and death throws of the A-380. The show's crowing maybe moved out with an after show deal making spree until year's end since pre show talks are taking so long. 

The show is being used as leverage for making a best deal with a desperate Airbus next week. Boeing is moving behind the scenes hoping it can stay out of the sand trap. Boeing's 787 production is going to 14 a month signaling multiple deals are in the balance. 

Dubai could be a big reveal for why Boeing committed to 14 a month 787 production guidance last summer setting-up next year's output.