Edited by: Juan Ruiz
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The Dubai Airshow is back and bigger than ever.
Located at the city’s Dubai World Central Airport (DWC), the 5-day extravaganza kicked off on Monday, November 13, and continues to hit the headlines with some big announcements.
We’re on the ground all week, bringing you the latest content and news to come out of the air show, so be sure to bookmark this piece and check out Upgraded Points’ Instagram for more AvGeek goodness.
The Dubai Airshow: What Is It?
The Dubai Airshow is an industry-wide meeting of manufacturers, airlines, media, and more, where big announcements are made, business deals are struck, and a lot of networking is done.
What’s on at the Dubai Airshow 2023
Days are jam-packed with several events happening at once: from panel discussions and press conferences to aircraft tours and flying displays, there’s a lot to take in.
Each day, a number of industry experts, including airline CEOs and senior executives, are invited to discuss various topics, with sustainability and the environment being a core discussion point at this year’s air show.
On Monday, we saw executives from aircraft manufacturers Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer explaining how each plans to achieve lofty carbon reduction goals.
Is it a bird, or is it a plane? No, it’s Airbus’ proposed new aircraft carrier that will be used for transporting parts across the Atlantic.
According to Julie Kitcher, Airbus’ Executive Vice President of Communications, Sustainability, and Corporate Affairs, this advanced vessel is expected to cut down Airbus’ emissions from transporting parts by 50%. She shared this exciting news during the event on Monday.
The 2-day Sustainability Conference came to a close on Tuesday with a talk by John Nilsson from Swedavia — the group that owns 10 airports in Sweden.
He is passionate about making aviation sustainable and firmly believes that with the measures that Swedavia and the rest of the country are taking that all domestic flights in Sweden could be fossil fuel-free by 2030!
No air show would be complete without a flying display, and Dubai 2023 kicked off the first show with a fantastic display.
This is one of the most exciting features of an air show, where you can get up close and personal with all types of aircraft as they perform aerial displays that you wouldn’t ordinarily get to see.
It’s also a chance for manufacturers, such as Airbus, to show off what their aircraft can do.
The amazing displays are able to go ahead thanks to skilled air traffic controllers high up in the tower of Dubai’s DWC Airport, which is located right on-site.
Static Aircraft Displays and Tours
Air shows are also a chance for airlines and manufacturers, such as Airbus and Boeing, to put their aircraft on display for all to see. This includes one of the most hotly anticipated jets of modern times — the Boeing 777X.
Those with a keen eye may notice a new addition to the tail fins on the side of the aircraft.
The retractable wingtip is a true feat of engineering.
As for airlines, there was a strong Middle Eastern presence, with Emirates taking center stage.
This is unsurprising, given that Dubai is Emirates’ hub. The carrier had the most visible presence, with both its Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 on display.
FlyDubai, a fellow Dubai-based airline and recent new partner of Air Canada, had its 50th Boeing 737 MAX on display at the start of the week.
Just look at FlyDubai’s vibrant colors!
Some, like Etihad’s newest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner — complete with updated business and economy class products — are only there to be admired from the outside unless you’re lucky enough to receive an invite for a sneak peek. Other jets are on display for the media and visitors alike to look around.
In fact, on Thursday, we managed to get ourselves an invite inside this very Etihad Boeing 787-9. You can expect the full scoop live on Upgraded Points on Friday morning.
Earlier in the week, on Tuesday, we were among just a handful of lucky media to get a sneak peek inside Beond’s Airbus A319, which will depart to Europe for the first time on November 15, 2023.
Beond isn’t the only start-up airline with a presence at the air show. Standing proud in the lineup of static aircraft is Riyadh Air’s Dreamliner — adorned in its striking purple livery. The Saudi Arabian airline, based in Riyadh, announced its launch as an airline in March 2023.
Riyadh Air’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner is sparkling new!
The air show also provided an opportunity for Upgraded Points to catch up with James Asquith — the founder and CEO of U.K.-based Global Airlines.
» Related: Upgraded Points Interviews James Asquith, Founder and CEO of Global Airlines [2023 Dubai Airshow]
News and Announcements
Perhaps the most exciting part of an air show for journalists comes in the way of the many announcements and updates, such as new livery designs, aircraft orders, and more.
New From Thursday, November 16
The excitement of aircraft orders is usually squeezed into the first few days of an airshow so Emirates’ last-minute announcement of an order of an additional 15 Airbus A350-900s came as quite a surprise.
News From Tuesday, November 14
Tuesday morning kicked off with the signing of a deal between Egyptair and Boeing for 10 Airbus A350-900s.
Along with the airline’s 7 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, the addition of these new Airbus A350-900 jets will mean that the majority of the airline’s long-haul aircraft will be made up of modern, more fuel-efficient jets.
Egyptair currently flies to 4 airports in North America: New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Toronto (YYZ), and Washington, D.C. (IAD).
News From Monday, November 13
Riyadh Air has not yet commenced operations, but it decided to reveal its stunning second livery on the Dubai Airshow 2023 opening day.
Notable Aircraft Orders
On Monday, FlyDubai kicked off with a historic $11 billion order for no less than 30 Boeing 787-9s — its first-ever long-haul aircraft.
The low-cost carrier has a wide route network with its narrow-body jets, and it is expected to expand even further with the addition of new long-haul routes when the airline receives its order of wide-body jets.
We’ll be updating this piece regularly over the course of the week, so stay tuned for more news and exciting aviation content.
Featured Image Credit: Daniel Ross
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