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Boeing leads orders race at Dubai Airshow — so far

After a slow start to this year's biennial Dubai Airshow, with no major deals announced on the opening day, orders worth around $30 billion were agreed Monday, with Boeing leading the way.

The U.S. aircraft manufacturer inked an order with Indian airline Jet Airways for 75 single-aisle Boeing 737 Max 8 planes in a deal worth around $8 billion.


Members of the Frecce Tri Colori aerobatic display squad perform an aerial display in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Jasper Juinen | Bloomberg via Getty Images
Members of the Frecce Tri Colori aerobatic display squad perform an aerial display in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The order, which was already listed on Boeing's books under an undisclosed client, was the only large plane purchase to be announced since the show opened Sunday.

President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Ray Conner said the partnership with Jet Airways, which is partially owned by United Arab Emirates (UAE) national airline Etihad, has been "tremendous for well over 20 years."

Order values are based on catalog prices of planes, which airlines do not actually pay. The actual value paid is a closely guarded secret that is kept across the industry.

Orders seen so far this year at the Dubai Airshow fall way short of those seen at the event two years ago. Plane makers then enjoyed a record number of deals, pulling in $162 billion on the first day alone, with the book topping $200 billion by the end of the show.

Other deals that were revealed at the show Monday included an agreement with the UAE Air Force with Swedish aerospace firm Saab worth $1.27 billion.

The deal will see the UAE pick up two brand new Global 6000 long-range surveillance aircraft, while two existing Saab 340 jets already in UAE ownership will undergo upgrades.

Elsewhere, Etihad signed a "memorandum of understanding" or an non-legally binding agreement with Abu Dhabi investment and development firm Mubadala worth a potential $1 billion.

Meanwhile, Emirates agreed to a $16 billion maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) contract with General Electric Aviation for the GE9X engines that will power the airline's fleet of 150 Boeing 777X aircraft over a period of 12 years, making it Emirates' largest single engine MRO contract to date.

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