Dubai Air Show Recap Day 5: Air Lease Turned Down Boeing 777X Freighter, Full Scores Revealed

Photo: Dubai Air Show

LONDON – And just like that, the final day of the Dubai Air Show comes to an end, with a revelation about Air Lease turning down the Boeing 777X Freighter and the full scores of sales revealed.

It has been an eventful week, from Airbus securing its first customer of the A350 Freighter, to Boeing securing deals for its crisis-stricken 737 MAX.

So without further ado, let’s get into the full recap for the week:


Airbus were the top dogs in this airshow, securing 404 commercial units sold across four deals.

It is key to note that Airbus recorded 408, but this was due to the Indonesian Government placing an order for four A400M defense units, but this will not be counted in our recap.

Indigo Partners Go Big For 255 Units

The first order, which was the biggest of the airshow, came from Indigo Partners, who signed a deal for a whopping 255 A320 Family aircraft.

The breakdown of this order was as follows for Indigo’s respective carriers:

  • Wizz Air – 102 aircraft – 75 A321neo & 27 A321XLR
  • Frontier – 91 aircraft – A321neos
  • Volaris – 39 aircraft – A321neos
  • JetSMART – 23 aircraft – 21 A321neos & 2 A321XLR

This brought Indigo’s total order book to a staggering 1,145 units.

Air Lease Corporation Bring A350 Freighter to Life

The second order from Airbus marked the start of the A350 Freighter sales campaign with Air Lease Corporation placing an order for 111 aircraft across the European planemaker’s portfolio.

The breakdown for this order is as follows:

  • 25 A220-300s
  • 55 A321neos
  • 20 A321XLR
  • 4 A330-900
  • 7 A350 Freighters

Air Lease Corporation’s order for these jets is due to be finalized in the coming months but was seen as a massive top-up of their current backlog already.

Jazeera Airways Orders 28 A320neo Family Aircraft

Photo: Anna Zvereza via Wikimedia Commons

Jazeera Airways then became the third airline at the air show to place an order for 28 A320neo Family aircraft.

The breakdown of this order consisted of 20 A320neos and eight A321neos.

This will help double the carrier’s fleet to 35 jets by 2026.

Ibom Air Gives A220 Another Endorsement

Finally, Airbus ended the commercial sales side of things with Ibom Air endorsing the A220 as it signed for 10 units of the type.

It is unclear when these aircraft will be delivered, but by the time all units are delivered, the airline will have 12 A220s in its fleet, having acquired two previously from Air Sinai.

With the airline only commencing operations back in January 2019, it looks to use these A220s as efficient aircraft that will provide maximum revenue as we come out of this pandemic.


Boeing had a pretty quiet Dubai Air Show, selling only 101 units across six different orders.

This may be unsurprising given the amount of controversy the manufacturer has been subjected to over the last two years.

It was more or less a 60-40 split between freighter orders and passenger aircraft orders, which you will now see.

Icelease Signs for 11 737-800 Freighters

Icelease started off Boeing’s sales campaign at the air show with an order for 11 737-800 Converted Freighters.

This coincided with new freighter conversion lines set to be open with KF Aerospace in Canada and at the Boeing MRO site at London Gatwick.

Icelease will be the launch customer for the new conversion line at London Gatwick.

Such an order means that more than 200 737-800BCFs across 19 customers have now been ordered.

DHL Express To Expand 767-300BCF Fleet

Boeing then announced that DHL Express would take nine 767-300BCFs as the airline aimed to expand its cargo capacity.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and even post-pandemic, e-commerce and other vital shipments are going to be important for the carrier to facilitate.

At this point, it looked like BCFs were going to be the theme for orders secured by Boeing.

Emirates Signs for Two 777 Freighters

Emirates then announced it was going to make a $1bn investment into its cargo program.

However, only two of the six aircraft mentioned in this investment reflected on a direct order, which was for 777 Freighters that SkyCargo already operates.

The other four gave a direct order for Israel Aerospace Industries where four existing 777-300ERs that are in the fleet already would be converted into freighters.

Sky One FZE Signs for Three Boeing 777-300s

Boeing Capital Corporation secured a deal with private leasing firm Sky One FZE for three 777-300 aircraft.

The terms of this deal have not been disclosed, but only as an actual order on the Boeing side.

What we do know is that Sky One FZE has got a strong focus within Africa, the Commonwealth of the Independent States, and India.

Air Tanzania Makes $726m Investment with Boeing

Air Tanzania then scored the biggest passenger aircraft order of the air show (at that point), with a $726m investment for a series of aircraft.

In breakdown, the airline ordered:

  • One 787-8 Dreamliner.
  • One 767-300 Freighter.
  • Two 737 MAX jets.

The airline is taking advantage of future passenger growth in the region, with 1,040 new aircraft needed by 2040.

Akasa Air Makes Biggest Boeing Order for 72 MAXs

Boeing’s biggest order of the air show came in the theme of a $9bn order with Akasa Air for 72 737 MAXs.

The breakdown is expected to be a blend of MAX8 and MAX200 Gamechanger aircraft.

This is expected to help the new start-up carrier penetrate the Indian low-cost market effectively.

Boeing Could Have Secured 777X Freighter Orders

Boeing was quick to not take the decision to launch the 777X freighter at the Dubai Air Show.

This was even despite the fact that the manufacturer was in “advanced talks” with customers about this variant.

But as Boeing’s sales chief Ihssane Mounir mentioned, “Boeing is not yet at a point to launch it or announce customers”.

Furthermore, if the advanced talks were substantial enough, Air Lease Corporation (ALC) would have purchased the freighter instead of the A350 Freighter variant.

ALC’s CEO Steven Udvar-Hazy mentioned at the Skift Aviation Forum that deliveries of the 777XF wouldn’t commence until 2028.

The reason why Udvar-Hazy went for the A350 Freighter was that deliveries would commence from 2025.

This may show that Boeing is behind the curve in the freighter market for next-generation aircraft.


ATR secured orders for at least 16 aircraft over the course of the air show from four different customers.

This has been a steady, yet successful, campaign for the manufacturer as it continues to steady out and maintain its backlog.

TAROM Orders Three ATR72-600s

TAROM was the first to expand and upgrade its regional takings by ordering three 72-600 aircraft.

This is all part of the carrier’s fleet modernization plans that will see it replacing and upscaling from its existing fleet of 42-500 aircraft.

The TAROM CEO, who is ironically an ATR pilot, ordered this aircraft as it was a perfect choice.

Air Corsica Signs for Five ATR72-600s

Air Corsica then joined in the fun by ordering five ATR72-600 aircraft.

The aircraft will be powered by the brand new Pratt & Whitney PW127XT, with deliveries starting in November 2022.

The PW127XT was also announced at the air show, enabling ATR to offer better fuel efficiency and economics for customers.

Binter Canarias Signs for Four ATR72-600 Aircraft

Canary Islands-based carrier Binter Canarias then placed a firm order for four 72-600s, with the option for an additional one should it be exercised.

Through this deal, ATR boasted that the -600 has around 75% of the turboprop market, based on orders placed in the last 10 years.

By the time deliveries are complete, Binter will have a total of 28 ATRs in the fleet.

Toki Air Becomes First Japanese Carrier to Introduce the ATR42-600S

Toki Air signed a Letter of Intent with ATR to become the first Japanese carrier to introduce the ATR42-600S.

The Letter of Intent doesn’t go into specifics about how many were ordered.

Deliveries are due to commence from 2025, however.

Afrijet Signs for Three ATR 72-600s

The final order was from Afrijet who placed an order for three 72-600s.

These new aircraft will phase out the older -500s.

The PW127XT will also power some of these aircraft.


Embraer only secured one order at the air show, which was for Overland Airways.

The carrier ordered six E175s, valued at $299.4 million.

Deliveries are understood to commence by 2023.

With no orders for the E2 program, this has been a pretty quiet show for Embraer.

Final Scores

Indigo Partners – 255 aircraft:
Wizz Air: 102 aircraft (75 A321neo & 27 A321XLR)
Frontier: 91 aircraft (A321neo)
Volaris: 39 aircraft (A321neo)
JetSMART: 23 aircraft (23 A321neo & 2 A321XLR)
Icelease – 11 737-800 Converted FreightersTAROM – 3 ATR72-600sOverland Airways – 6 E175s
Air Lease Corporation – 111 aircraft:
25 A220-300s
55 A321neos
20 A321XLR
4 A330-900neo
7 A350 Freighters
DHL Express – 9 767-300 Converted FreightersToki Air – Unknown number in LoI – Ordered ATR42-600STOL 
Jazeera Airways – 28 aircraft:
20 A320neos
8 A321neos
Emirates – 2 777 FreightersAfrijet – Three ATR72-600s 
Ibom Air – 10 A220sSky One FZE – 3 777-300s  
 Air Tanzania – 4 aircraft:
1 787-8 Dreamliner
1 767-300 Freighter
2 737 MAXs
 Akasa Air – 72 737 MAXs: Will consist of a mix of MAX 8 & MAX 200 Gamechangers  
Total: 404Total: 101Total: 16 (More depending on details of Toki Air LoI)Total: 6

Airbus has of course dominated this air show.

There have been major successes across all programs, including the A321XLR that has picked up 49 orders in total.

For Boeing, while they didn’t sell as many units, they were able to recover some of their key programs, such as the MAX.

Instigating big orders like the Akasa Air order is going to give a major confidence boost to the program.

For ATR, it has done well to secure some orders and maintain its backlog, with Embraer really struggling to secure orders for the E2 at the air show.

Thank you all once again for following our coverage of the Dubai Air Show over the course of this week! If you like what you see, then please consider subscribing to us for as little as £3.99 per month.

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