The first day of the Dubai Air Show was kind to Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) but not to rival Airbus. Boeing announced a commitment from Emirates for 40 of the company’s 787-10 Dreamliners. Including the airplanes and related equipment the deal is worth $15.1 billion at list prices.
What Emirates did not announce was an order for more A380 superjumbo jets from Airbus. That does not necessarily mean that the airline won’t, but such an order would be a huge deal and there does not seem to be any reason why Emirates or Airbus would want to delay an announcement.
Three years ago Emirates cancelled an order for 70 Airbus A350s and Sunday’s commitment to Boeing pretty much extinguishes the last Airbus hope of winning back a place in the Emirates fleet for the plane. The Emirates announcement of its deal with Boeing apparently surprised Airbus officials waiting in the wings for new order for A350s.
Boeing also announced an order from Azerbaijan Airlines for five 787-8s and a commitment for two freighters in a deal valued at $1.9 billion at list prices. The airline currently includes two 787-8s in its fleet along with Boeing 757s and 767s.
On Friday, Airbus and Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum celebrated the delivery of the 100th A380 to the airline and both Airbus CEO Tom Enders and Saeed expressed hope that a deal would be announced at Dubai. A report from Bloomberg cited unnamed sources who said Emirates is set to order 36 A380s at the show.
The commitment from Emirates is not a firm order and will not be added to Boeing’s order book until a firm order is signed. Last week Boeing announced a net 49 new orders, including 18 that had been listed for unidentified customers. For the year, Boeing had booked 605 net new orders as of November 7.