Airbus rediscovers freighters

While the Airbus A380 freighter may be on ice for now, the European airframe maker has plenty of more freighters up its sleeve, including a possible A330-300 and A350-900 freighter.

With the record-setting number of aircraft orders signed up at the recent Dubai Air Show, Airbus’ indefatigable chief commercial officer, John Leahy can be excused for being "over the moon" about the state of the airline industry in general and Airbus’ continuing role as the best selling aircraft manufacturer in the world in particular. Th e folks in Chicago and Seattle may not like it, but it looks like the Toulouse-based aircraft maker will be outselling Boeingagain in 2007.

Emirates topped the avalanche of orders with a breakthrough deal for 70 A350 XWBs (plus 50 options) and 11 more A380s (now 58). It also placed orders for 12 more 777-300ERs from Boeing. Dubai- based DAE Capital signed LOIs with Airbus for 70 A320 Family aircraft and 30 A350 XWBs, while it also ordered 70 737s and mix of 30 787s, 777s and 747s.

Add the order from Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, chairman of Kingdom Holding, for the first A380 Flying Palace, plus an order from Air Arabia for 34 A320s, plus an MOU from Saudi Arabian Airlines for 22 A320s, plus a few other orders which brought the total number of Airbus orders at the show to 294, and it becomes clear why Leahy is in a jubilant mood.