Dubai Airshow 2017

This is a show set in a background of political strife. The Saudis next door have arrested large numbers of the very rich investors and power players as the Crown Prince cracks down in corruption and ensures his own survival. Qatar is under blockade and isn’t allowed to attend, Yemen fired a ballistic missile at the Saudi Capital which was shot down by a Patriot missile, the Saudis blame the Iranians for supplying it.

Tensions are at breaking point with some and the show is likely to be more about who gets military hardware as about which airliners they’ll buy. It’s a win-win for Boeing.

Boeing is spreading the word about the 797-X concept. It could we’ll be launched at Farnborough in 2018.

The 797-X will be designed as a small wide body with an elliptical fuselage holding only luggage and a bare minimum of cargo. Cargo just isn’t seen as required in the market it’s aimed at, and it would be more efficient, lighter, cheaper and easier to build without a requirement for it. Boeing think it’s going to happen, but many airlines in Europe aren’t seeing it. IAG for one have pretty much said it’s too little too late. Boeing won’t have it in service until 2024-26 at the earliest.

Airbus are expecting Emirates to sign an order for 30-40 A380’s – but Emirates is driving a hard bargain. Airbus may be expected to buy back aircraft Emirates own outright, but leased replacements can expect to sit on remote airfields until its decided what to do with them.

There will be orders, Boeing stands to reap the most, but while both parties will spin news into a frenzy of positivity don’t expect anything earth shattering. One thing to look for is any CSeries takers, Airbus will want a quick win to justify what they’ve done.