DAS2023 Day 2 Recap: Africa's Presence on the Global Stage

The second trade day of DAS2023 has come to an end, with Africa, a continent with one of the most rapidly emerging markets, leading the pack with over 70 secured orders and options from major manufacturers.



November 14, 2023

DUBAI — The second trade day of the 2023 edition of the Dubai Airshow has come to an end, with Africa, a continent with one of the most rapidly emerging markets, leading the pack with over 70 secured orders and options from major manufacturers.

Although the total number of airframes contracted by customers is lower compared to Day 1, Day 2 saw a total of 114 units ordered by three different airlines, primarily from the African region, as well as one aircraft lessor.

Let's take a closer look at the notable order announcements covered by the Airways crew on the second trade day.

As part of its widebody fleet expansion, EgyptAir will take delivery of 10 A350-900s by 2027. Image: Airbus

EgyptAir Selects Airbus for Widebody Expansion

On DAS2023, Day 2, we saw flag carrier EgyptAir (MS) choose the Airbus A350 XWB for its future widebody aircraft expansion, becoming the first African customer to announce orders for the day.

EgyptAir placed an order for 10 A350-900 aircraft that Airbus will deliver between 2025 and 2027. Yehia Zakaria, CEO of EgyptAir, has confirmed that these new planes will not replace the old A330 fleet but rather operate alongside them on long-haul routes, along with their Boeing 787-9 aircraft.

Today's order from MS for Airbus planes adds to its success at the Dubai Airshow, where the carrier also announced yesterday a lease order for 18 Boeing 737-8 MAX planes from Air Lease Corporation (ALC).

SCAT Airlines' first Boeing 737-8. Photo: Being
SCAT Airlines' first Boeing 737-8. Photo: Being

Kazakhstan Orders More MAXes for SCAT

SCAT (DV), the largest airline in Kazakhstan, has placed an additional order for seven Boeing 737-8 aircraft, reaffirming its support of the MAX program. The order will support the airline's expansion plans in the Middle Eastern and Asian regions, adding to its current network of 34 destinations.

As of now, DV has already received its initial batch of 737 MAX aircraft, which includes three Boeing 737-8s and five Boeing 737-9s. With this new order, combined with previous acquisitions, DV's fleet of "Baby Boeing" aircraft will grow to up to 31 airframes in the coming years.

SCAT was the first airline in Central Asia to adopt the latest generation of Boeing's medium-haul aircraft, and it remains the only airline in the country to exclusively rely on the 737 family of jets.

Despite not displaying any aircraft at the Dubai Airshow this year, ATR, thanks to the support of turboprop-specialized lessor Abelo, has managed to leave a lasting impression.

ATR, More Present Than We Think

The absence of any aircraft products on display at the Dubai Airshow does not necessarily prevent manufacturers from receiving orders. ATR, one of the leading regional aircraft factories, demonstrated this today.

The turboprop manufacturer based at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (TLS) received an order from the Irish lessor Abelo, which specializes in leasing aircraft within this specific sector. The order includes 10 ATR 72-600s, with an option for an additional 10 ATR 42-600s, which will be made available for lease to third-party customers.

During the 2023 edition of the Paris Air Show, ATR showcased one of its latest ATR 72-600 units in the static display at Le Bourget (LBG). This particular aircraft was awaiting delivery to Azul (AD). Additionally, a FedEx (FX) cargo ATR 72 performed flight displays at the PAS2023.

Alas, DAS2023 attendees will notice the absence of turboprop commercial airplanes from the list of showcased aircraft.

Today, Boeing and ET announced that the airline has made a commitment to purchase 11 787 Dreamliners and 20 737 MAX aircraft, with the potential for an additional 15 and 21 jets, respectively. Image: Boeing

Ethiopian Airlines Secures the Largest Order

Finally, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) secured the largest aircraft order on the second day of the 2023 Dubai Airshow. The African carrier announced that it will be receiving a total of 31 Boeing aircraft over the next seven years.

The order includes 11 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and 20 Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft. In addition to these confirmed orders, there are 66 additional options, which may be finalized in the coming years or even months.

With this significant expansion of its fleet, Ethiopian Airlines is solidifying its position as the leading African competitor to Middle Eastern superhub airlines such as Emirates (EK) and Qatar Airways (QR). Mesfin Tasew, CEO of ET, emphasized that by 2035, ET aims to be among the top 20 largest airlines in the world.

Featured image: Simone Chellini/Airways