The Middle East and northern Africa have become fertile areas for marketers at Brazil’s Embraer, now the undisputed leader in terms of fleet presence in the region among the world’s regional airliner manufacturers. Of course, the nearly decade-long effort to gain a foothold in a region long considered the virtually exclusive domain of widebodies didn’t yield immediate results, but Embraer’s persistence has undoubtedly paid handsome dividends.
The spectacular rise of Emirates and its Gulf rivals confounded the expectations of mature carriers in the U.S. and Europe. These fifth- and sixth-freedom carriers have limitless ambitions and enjoy the revenues won through hydrocarbon abundance to back them up. But personalities have also played a role and one thing is sure: the Ruler of Dubai has made himself a pivotal player on the world’s aviation stage.
Next week’s Dubai Airshow, running from November 17 to 21, is set to provide yet more evidence of the soaring ambitions of the Gulf region’s air carriers, and Boeing’s new 777X twinjet seems set to be the main beneficiary of their relentless fleet expansion plans.
Airbus cited sleep-study results in calling on airlines to set an 18-inch minimum seat width standard for long-haul flights. Organizations representing the airline industry said seating options should be left to individual carriers.
The second flying prototype of the Airbus A350 XWB took to the air for the first time Monday morning and landed at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in France shortly after 2:30 p.m. local time.
European low-cost airline Norwegian Air Shuttle is expanding its intercontinental route structure as it takes delivery of new Boeing 787 Dreamliners. On September 3 the carrier, based in Fornebu, Norway, announced service to three new destinations in the U.S., scheduled to start next spring. It plans to use the 787 on routes between Scandinavia and Los Angeles, Oakland and Orlando international airports.
Some 54 countries in Africa hold stakes in airlines and airports, but all must increasingly consider the invasion of their skies by international players, led by the likes of Middle East heavyweights Emirates and Qatar Airways.
Energized by the explosive growth in the Middle East air transport market, Qatar Airways has turned its attention to Scandinavia as it extends Boeing 787 services to Stockholm on August 1, to be followed a month later to both Copenhagen and Oslo.
Industry wisdom that civil aerospace is continuing its super-boom while defense prospects waiver was clearly confirmed in the headlines from last month’s Paris Air Show (June 17 to 23). The 50th staging of the biennial event was dominated by yet more airliner orders, plus breakthroughs in new aircraft coming to market and significant deliveries.