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Dubai Airshow Day 1 Highlights

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The Dubai Airshow began today not so much with a bang, but with a welcome return to some semblance of normalcy. Milling about the show floor were representatives from the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers, airlines, and governments, all there to see the latest and greatest aviation has to offer. The main attraction at this year’s show is Boeing’s much anticipated 777X, which is making its international debut.

Day 2 Highlights | Day 3 Highlights

Dubai Airshow Day 1

Its busy. Surprisingly busy. This is the first airshow since the pandemic began and people are taking advantage of the in-person event. The biggest draw by far is Boeing’s 777X. We make it onboard for a brief tour and enjoyed the flying program.

Only at Dubai

As we were making our way to the 777X, a royal tour breezed through with lots of commotion. Hundreds of photographers thronged him for a photo. He boarded the A380 and toured it for a few minutes before walking over the 777X. He decided against a tour of the 777X at the last minute and the entourage was off and running, allowing us to make our tour of the aircraft.

Order news

Dubai is often a big show for governmental and military purchases, and this year is no exception with the UAE ordering $1.4 billion in hardware. The biggest commercial order of the first day of the show came from Indigo Partners, which ordered an additional 255 A321neo aircraft. With this new order, Indigo Partners airlines Wizz Air, Frontier, Volaris, and JetSMART have a total 1,145 A320 family aircraft on order. This new order sees a large contingent added to the Wizz Air fleet, including the ultra-long-range A321XLR. The order breaks down:

  • Wizz Air: 102 aircraft (75 A321neo + 27 A321XLR)
  • Frontier: 91 aircraft (A321neo)
  • Volaris: 39 aircraft (A321neo)
  • JetSMART: 23 aircraft (21 A321neo + 2 A321XLR)

Best looking aircraft

Etihad has its new A350-1000 in a special UAE 50th anniversary livery at the show, but sadly it is not open for tours.

Gulf Air’s 70th anniversary retro livery 787 may be the best looking aircraft at the show.

And the Irkut MC-21 is here, complete with Progress engines.

MC-21 with Progress engines at the Dubai Airshow

Day 1 Photos

See the slide show below for all our photos from Day 1 and stay tuned for Day 2 tomorrow!

IMG_6320 IMG_6284 IMG_6271 IMG_6243 IMG_6229 IMG_6218 IMG_6211 IMG_6199 IMG_6164 IMG_6158 IMG_6150 IMG_6149 IMG_6146 IMG_6142 IMG_6137
Etihad A350-1000 engine with "Year of the Fiftieth" special decal
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