Today was the first day of the Dubai Airshow and it was big. There are a ton of news articles about the transactions. Emirates made the biggest splash by agreeing to purchase 200 aircraft – 150 Boeing 777X and 50 Airbus A380 – plus options to buy an additional 50 planes. According to an Emirates representative, this will be the largest aircraft order in the history of aviation.
|Love this photo from the official Airshow website, don’t you?|
When you include the other two major gulf carriers – Qatar and Etihad – $150B worth of airplanes (list price) were committed to in the first day alone. These carriers purchased nearly 260 aircraft on Sunday. While there is still the option to cancel the orders at a future point (economic downturn, delivery delays, etc), but this order shows that the 3 main Gulf Carriers are investing in their future. They intend to bring the world to the Gulf – even if it just to connect as you travel the world.
I haven’t had a chance to fly any of the Gulf-3, but I would love to cash in some miles/points to fly a premium cabin and spend a few days in Dubai/Abu Dhabi. If you were going to hit the UAE for a long weekend, which airline would you fly and more importantly, how would you pay for it – cash (not I), American Express Membership Rewards? Starwood Preferred Guest Points? Codeshare miles?