Gulf airlines stabilise at cruising height

Published in Gulf States News, 26 November 2015

More than 1,000 exhibitors from 61 countries turned up to the 8-12 November Dubai Airshow, which reflected in its global status to show off some 150 aircraft on the tarmac, from agile drones made by Abu Dhabibased Adcom Systems all the way up to lumbering Airbus A380s decked out in the liveries of Dubai’s Emirates Airline and Qatar Airways.

So far, so normal: what was unusual was the lack of big new orders. Abu Dhabi-based national UAE airline Etihad Airways exercised options for two Boeing 777 freighters, but that was part of an order for 199 planes announced in 2013. There were no equivalent new deals. Instead, the big manufacturers were left to make more prosaic announcements, such as Toulouse-based Airbus Group’s deal to upgrade the cabins of Oman Air’s A330s.

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