Dubai Air Show 2021 Recap: Day 3 Gives Big Win for Boeing 737 MAX, Airbus Exceeds 400+ Units Sold

Photo: Dubai Air Show

LONDON – It has been quite a hectic day at the Dubai Air Show as Day 3 comes to a solid close for a few manufacturers.

There have been some major wins for both Airbus and Boeing in the orders announced today, with the two sides selling 505 units between them.

So without further ado, let’s get stuck into today’s recap:


ATR secured two customers today, one being Toki Air of Japan and the other being Afrijet of Central Africa.

First off, Toki Air has signed a Letter of Intent with the manufacturer to become the first Japanese airline to introduce the ATR42-600S aircraft in Japan.

The 42-600S is unique as it enables short take-offs, of which for Toki Air would be using the 890-meter runway at Niigata Airport, meaning it would be a perfect fit for the carrier.

Toki Air’s Letter of Intent doesn’t actually go into any specifics on how many units, but we do know that deliveries of this type will commence from 2025.

That being said also, Toki Air has already signed a lease agreement for two ATR 72-600s that will be delivered next year.

Central African carrier Afrijet has signed on for three ATR72-600 aircraft, as part of fleet modernization plans that will remove its already existing -500s out of service.

The second delivery will be important for Afrijet, as this aircraft will feature the brand new Pratt & Whitney PW127XT-M engines, which will deliver increased efficiency and burn less fuel for the carrier.

Both orders have of course taken ATR strongly into double digits for units sold, with the number presently at 16 although this will be more due to the Toki Air Letter of Intent not actually confirming the numbers at present.


Today has been the busiest and best day for Boeing, selling a total of 79 aircraft across three different customers.

Private leasing firm Sky One FZE has signed for three Boeing 777-300 aircraft from Boeing’s Capital Corporation.

The terms of this deal have not been disclosed but have been publicly announced as another order confirmed on the Boeing side.

This now means that Boeing Capital Corporation’s aircraft portfolio has reached around $1.8 billion in total.

Sky One FZE has currently got a strong focus on growing airlines within Africa, the Commonwealth of Independent States region, and India.

Air Tanzania has ordered a 787-8 Dreamliner, a 767-300 Freighter and two 737 MAX jets to expand service from the country to new markets across Africa, Asia and Europe (Boeing Graphic)

Air Tanzania signed a deal with Boeing for one 787-8 Dreamliner, one 767-300 Freighter, and two 737 MAX jets.

The $726m deal adds more sales to the Boeing portfolio, and is, more importantly, the first orders confirmed for the 787 and the 737 MAX at the air show, which will begin to place Boeing in a better tact sales-wise.

Air Tanzania is quite clearly taking advantage of Boeing’s Market Forecast Outlook which has predicted the need for 1,030 new airplanes valued at $160 billion by 2040.

For Boeing, this is a solid order to start Day 3 with, although we yet need to see some more orders to catch up with Airbus.

Praveen Iyer, chief commercial officer, Akasa Air; James McBride, Boeing sales director; John Bruns, Boeing vice president, Commercial Sales & Marketing, India & Southeast Asia; Ihssane Mounir, Boeing senior vice president, Commercial Sales & Marketing; Aditya Ghosh, co-founder, Akasa Air; Vinay Dube, chief executive officer, Akasa Air, and Stan Deal, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and chief executive officer, after Akasa Air ordered (72) 737 MAX airplanes to build its fleet. (Boeing Photo)

New start-up Indian carrier Akasa Air has signed a deal with Boeing for 72 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, valued at nearly $9bn, in a big win for Boeing and the MAX.

Akasa Air’s order of 72 jets will consist of 737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 200 Gamechanger aircraft, as the low-cost carrier aims for fast penetration of the Indian low-cost market.

Akasa Air will benefit from Boeing providing the lowest seat-mile costs for a single-aisle airplane as well as high dispatch reliability and an enhanced passenger experience.

This will make sure that Akasa Air has a competitive edge in its dynamic home market.

For Boeing, this is very good news that this deal has come through, and will place some positive sales PR on an aircraft program that has been scathed by crisis after crisis.


Airbus has had a bit of a quieter day compared to the last two days, selling 366 jets in a 48-hour period.

Instead, they have sold 38 aircraft across two different customers.

Photo: Anna Zvereza via Wikimedia Commons

Jazeera Airways has today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for 28 A320neo Family aircraft.

The deal breakdown will see the airline receive 20 A320neos and eight A321neos.

Commenting on this move was Marwan Boodai, the Chairman at Jazeera Airways who said that this is all about fleet growth:

“Jazeera Airways is pleased to extend its long-term relationship with Airbus further with this significant new order.”

“We will effectively double our current fleet size to 35 aircraft by 2026. The airline has pulled out of the pandemic strongly in Q3 with a return to profitability. “

“We have exciting expansion plans ahead, which will further boost our contribution to the Kuwait economy and in particular the travel sector.” 

Nigerian carrier Ibom Air has firmed an order with Airbus for 10 A220 aircraft.

This firming came as a result of a report from two days ago, stating that the airline was going to place an order.

“It gives me great pleasure to be here to announce Ibom Air’s order for 10 Airbus A220s”, said Mfon Udom, CEO of Ibom.

“As an organization, we at Ibom Air are delighted with the steep growth we have achieved in just over two and a half years since we commenced operations, a growth chiefly driven by the massive embrace of our product and brand by the Nigerian domestic flying public.”

“The addition of the A220 to our fleet will support our growth strategy and boost operational efficiency. It will also offer our passengers more space and enhanced cabin experience, as a value adds for choosing us.”

“We are thrilled to add Ibom Air as a new Airbus customer. The A220 is ideally suited to Nigeria’s aviation needs, providing operational flexibility to grow the business by responding to demand for increased passenger services. Through this investment, Ibom Air is underscoring its ambition for regional and in due course, international connectivity and operational efficiency.”, said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Ibom Air commenced operations back in January 2019, and currently has a fleet of seven aircraft operating flights to five destinations.

Of the seven aircraft, Ibom Air has two A220s that it took over from Air Sinai as well as five Bombardier CRJ900s.

This now means the airline will have a fleet of 12 A220s, and keeping with the five CRJ900s brings the total fleet count to 17.

For Airbus, this means that they have accumulated over 640 orders for the Airbus A220.

The Numbers After Close of Play

Photo: Dubai Air Show

After closing of play today, Airbus remains up top for the most amount of business conducted, but Boeing has now hit triple digits as a result of their significant orders today.

The numbers are as follows:

  • Airbus: 404
  • Boeing: 101
  • ATR: 16
  • Embraer: 6

No manufacturer has called it a day as of yet, meaning that Day 4 tomorrow may give us some more indication about orders. But of course, the question remains: What else do the manufacturers have up their sleeve for sales?

As always, thank you very much for following our coverage from today here in Dubai and we will see you guys tomorrow!

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