$100 billion Boeing order bonanza to dominate Dubai show

Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:36pm EST
 
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By Praveen Menon and Tim Hepher

DUBAI/PARIS (Reuters) - Boeing (BA.N: Quote) looks set to dominate next week's Dubai Airshow with more than $100 billion of deals as it aims to launch its latest long-haul jet with up to 250 potential orders from as many as five airlines, industry sources said.

The U.S. planemaker is pressing ahead with the launch of its 777X mini-jumbo despite uncertainty over where it will be made, with workers at the existing 777 plant outside Seattle holding a ballot over a new employment contract on Wednesday.

Bulging civil and military bank balances in the Gulf remain a magnet for Western aerospace executives as they seek to tap thriving demand for jetliners and combat aircraft that offer some respite from defence cuts at home.defense

A widely expected potential order for as many as 150 of the new 777X passenger jets from Dubai flag carrier Emirates EMIRA.UL could come close to matching the $62 billion of deals amassed at the last Dubai show two years ago.

"Dubai's success is related to its airlines. It's a global hub now and Dubai did this by buying planes and constantly renewing its fleet," said John Sfakianakis, chief investment strategist at Riyadh-based asset management firm Masic.

"Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are also investing billions in aviation to be able to connect to the world. These states have to continue to invest if they want to expand."

After playing cat and mouse with rival Airbus EAD.PA in the market for big twin-engined jets, industry sources say that Boeing is expected to launch the 777X on Sunday with the record Emirates deal and 25 jets for Abu Dhabi's Etihad.

Depending on final negotiations, which historically provide some last-minute drama at such shows, Boeing could also announce orders for dozens of 777X jets from Qatar Airways and Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific (0293.HK: Quote) during the Middle East's largest business event, which runs from November 17 to 21.   Continued...

 
The Boeing logo is seen at their headquarters in Chicago, April 24, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young