Issue No. 840

The Dubai Order Frenzy

Airlines Go on a Shopping Spree at The Dubai Airshow

Pushing Back: Inside The Issue

In the Before Times, the biennial Farnborough and Paris Airshows were where airframers announced masses of orders from the world's airlines. Those two shows have been idled for two years during the pandemic, but the Dubai Airshow was not. And this year the usually sleepier and more regional airshow was a doozy. Airlines signaled their faith in the recovery by going on something of a shopping spree, announcing orders for almost 500 jets. Airbus was the big winner, with two marquee orders: Air Lease Corp.'s order for 111 aircraft and Indigo Partner's for 255. Boeing did all right as well, with orders from a new Indian startup and airlines in Africa.

But ALC and Airbus buried the lede, as we journalists like to say. The lessor is the launch customer for a new aircraft, a freighter variant of the A350, something Airbus had signaled it would launch. But unlike other aircraft launches, there was no champagne or confetti or even a standalone press release. Instead, the A350F's launch was buried in a release about ALC's order for 111 Airbus jets.

Elsewhere in this issue, we held the second annual Skift Aviation Forum virtually last week, and airline leaders were bullish (and not just about buying aircraft) about the recovery. American Airlines is exiting 27 routes, while United Airlines is ending nine. The leaders of both airlines say they will have enough staff to handle what is expected to be a busy holiday season, but face a pilot shortage on at their regionals for next year. And KLM's Pieter Elbers expressed surprise at the crazy-high load factors his airline saw on November 8, the first day the U.S. re-opened to vaccinated travelers. For more from the conference, turn to the Weekly Skies section below.

Weekly Skies

On November 8, the first day that the U.S. reopened to vaccinated foreign travelers, KLM's aircraft across the North Atlantic were 97 percent full, a remarkable statistic in the best of times but even more striking now, during a global…


Boeing has a tough road ahead of it if it plans to design a clean-sheet new aircraft, but it still should do so, Air Lease Corp. Executive Chairman Steven Udvar-Hazy said at the Skift Aviation Forum last week.

State of the Unions

Regional affiliates of American Airlines and United Airlines are taking drastic measures to attract pilots amid an increasingly dire pilot shortage in the U.S. A shortage that has prompted United to cut service to at least nine smaller cities and may limit…

Routes and Networks

American Airlines' and JetBlue Airways' new Northeast Alliance giveth and taketh when it comes to routes. After pronouncements of new routes and destinations — particularly by JetBlue — from Boston and New York, American has loaded a schedule that shows…

Feature Story

Airframers racked up 493 aircraft orders at a surprisingly newsy Dubai Airshow last week. Airbus counted 404 commercial aircraft and Boeing another 72 jets — or 78 including previous orders to undisclosed customers — with the balance sprinkled between ATR and Embraer.