Emirates Airline is on track by year-end to be the first carrier in the world to allow its passengers to make calls using their own mobile phones with the AeroMobile system. Earlier this year, AeroMobile, a joint venture between U.S.-based Arinc and Norway’s Telenor, completed a successful trial of the system with Australian carrier Qantas, and it is now ready for full revenue-service use.
Both local and Western companies are enjoying a strong market for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services in the Middle East, due to increased airline activity and military aircraft fleets.
Emirates Airline launched a new era in air travel last month when it flew its first Boeing 777-200LR from Dubai to São Paulo, Brazil. The trip marked the first time any carrier has linked all the world’s permanently inhabited continents with nonstop service from one hub.
Having run the airline since its first day of operations in 1985, Emirates executive vice chairman Maurice Flanagan has achieved an appropriate measure of fame as the hand that has guided the Dubai carrier to its current position, operating more than 100 jetliners and employing 30,000 people overall. Now, Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) has formally recognized that success by grant of a Legends Award and induction to its Hall of Fame.
Gulf carrier Qatar Airways yesterday signed an order for five Boeing 777F cargo aircraft and took options on a further five. It also confirmed orders for 22 others previously from unidentified buyers–fourteen 777-300ERs, six -200LRs and two 777F cargo variants.
Boeing has pushed back by three months production of the first 747-8, the latest iteration of its venerable flagship, citing a need to avoid “operational risk” as it switches from the manufacture of the current 747-400 model. The move will provide additional time for completion of engineering work for the new variant.
With a rash of new civil aircraft orders widely expected at the show this week, Airbus and Boeing continue to enjoy the fruits of the ongoing industry boom. U.S.
manufacturer Boeing could see its year-end tally again reach 1,000 units, while its European competitor prepares to issue plenty of news here in Dubai to follow its slew of announcements at the Paris Air Show in June.
With a characteristically nimble response to market demand, Emirates Airline hastily re-scheduled an announcement here yesterday of more than $30 billion worth of aircraft orders to accommodate the presence of Dubai ruler HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.
There is a bit of an ironic twist in the continuing fast-pace growth of business aviation in the Middle East. Many new users of business aircraft in this part of the world are part of the wave of economic diversification sweeping the Arabian Gulf states as they try to reduce their dependence on oil income in anticipation of the depletion of reserves.
The boom in air travel throughout the Middle East and beyond has certainly reaped economic rewards, but not without a significant amount of growing pain, particularly in countries where the existing infrastructure can barely support today’s level of traffic. Thankfully for Dubai and many other Gulf states, a wealth of investment resources helps conquer virtually any building challenge the rulers choose to confront.