Dubai 2005, the ninth international aerospace exhibition, began at the Airport Expo Sunday, is expected to witness a record number of announcements and deals involving more than 100 firm orders and commitments, aviation sources said.
Qatar Airways, which earlier signed a letter of intent (LoI) for 60 A350s and 20 Boeing 777s, is likely to formalise them to firm orders, pending final adjustments, reports BDNEWS.
Emirates is likely to top up its existing orderbook of $27 billion with new orders ranging between 20 to 30 B777s, sources said.
Additional orders are expected from the region's six business jet operators.
Due to sensitivity, officials contacted by this correspondent remained tight-lipped till the last moment. However, Emirates and Qatar Airways the two fastest growing airlines are expected to steal the limelight at the Middle East's largest aerospace exhibition that concludes on Thursday.
Major announcements are expected to be wrap-ped up within the first three days of the five day event that will see both Boeing and Airbus extend their current orderbook. Boeing leads this year's aircraft orderbook with 657 firm orders and commitments while Airbus is trailing with 499.
Airbus, which will deliver 360 aircraft by the end of 2005, Saturday announced 10 new orders for the A318 with Jeddah-based National Air Services, a deal worth $450 million at the list price.