Wed, Nov 07, 2007
Boeing Or Airbus, Dubai Or Not
Boeing and Airbus are each vying to win a $3.95 billion contract
from the United Arab Emirates-based Air Arabia, which plans to
purchase at least 50 jets, according to Reuters.
Air Arabia, the Middle East’s largest discount carrier,
recently revealed it plans to buy 34 narrowbody airliners. An order
of Boeing 737-800s, at roughly $79 million apiece at list, would
cost as much as $3.95 billion million off the shelf; 50 Airbus
A320s would cost less at $3.25 billion.
"We are planning to purchase between 34 and 50 aircraft directly
from airplane makers... in November," Air Arabia Chief Executive
Officer Adel Ali told Reuters by telephone from Kuwait.
Adel Ali, Air Arabia’s chief did not say why he might
order more aircraft than he stated earlier. The three–year
old carrier -- started by Sharjah, the UAE's third-largest emirate
-- currently operates a fleet of nine leased Airbus A320s.
Other Middle East airlines have used the Dubai Airshow to
announce their billion dollar aircraft orders. That show will start
on November 11 featuring aircraft from around the world.
Air Arabia recently sold a 55 percent stake in the Middle East's
first airline IPO in April, 2007. The proceeds from that $700
million sale will be directed toward the purchase of new aircraft,
according to Air Arabia spokesman Housam Raydan.
Air Arabia wants to increase its fleet to 52 aircraft by 2016,
according to airline officials.
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