Major commitments for Airbus aircraft from airline investor Indigo Partners for its low-cost carriers and Air Lease, as well as from Indian start-up Akasa Air for Boeing Max 8s drove the bulk of the more than 500 aircraft order and option commitments announced during the first three days of the Dubai air show.

Indigo ordered 255 Airbus A321neo and A321XLR aircraft for Wizz Air, Frontier, Volaris and JetSmart, while Air Lease placed firm commitments for 111 aircraft – including a launch order for the manufacturer’s new A350 freighter.

Dubai Airshow 2021 Day3 - Airbus and Jazeera Airways signature

Source: Airbus

Jazeera Airways signed a memorandum of understanding for 20 Airbus A320neos and eight A321neos on day 3 of the 2021 Dubai air show

Indian start-up Akasa Air meanwhile signed for 72 Boeing 737 Max 8s.

This accounts for the lion’s share of the 479 firm orders disclosed at the show, with the remaining 34 commitments either being letters of intent, options or purchase rights.

The next biggest commitment was the memorandum of understanding for 28 Airbus narrowbodies that Kuwaiti budget carrier Jazeera Airways signed for.

In contrast to order activity at many previous Dubai air shows which have been dominated by Middle East carriers, the tentative deal from Jazeera and two Boeing 777 freighters ordered by Emirates have been the only commitments from operators in the region this year.

The four aircraft ordered by Air Tanzania were previously listed in Boeing’s orders and deliveries website attributed to an unidentified customer.

The vast majority of aircraft commitments, 439, were for narrwobodies, with just 15 deals covering widebodies. 

Deals for ATR turboprops accounted for 25 of the 31 regional aircraft announced during Dubai.

In logging 513 airliner orders and options, this year’s Dubai event – the first air show for 20 months – outstripped the just under 300 deals announced at he 2019 Dubai air show.

Aircraft order/option commitments announced during 2021 Dubai air show
CustomerCountryManufacturerAircraft typeFirm ordersLoI/MoUOptions
 FlightGlobal analysis of order announcements as of end of 16 November; options include purchase rights
Wizz Air Hungary Airbus A321neo/A321XLR 102    
Frontier Airlines USA Airbus A321neo 91    
Air Lease USA Airbus A321neo/A321XLR 75    
Akasa Air India Boeing 737 Max 8/Max 8-200 72    
Volaris Mexico Airbus A321neo 39    
Jazeera Kuwait Airbus A320neo/A321neo   28  
Air Lease USA Airbus A220-300 25    
JetSmart Chile Airbus A321neo/A321XLR 23    
Ibom Air Nigeria Airbus A220 10    
Air Lease USA Airbus A350F 7    
Air Corsica France ATR ATR 72-600 5    
Undisclosed n/a ATR ATR 72-600 5    
Air Lease USA Airbus A330neo 4    
Binter Canaries Spain ATR ATR 72-600 4   1
Afrijet Gabon ATR ATR 72-600 3    
Tarom Romania ATR ATR 72-600 3    
Overland Airways Nigeria Embraer Embraer 175 3   3
Air Tanzania Tanzania Boeing 737 Max 8/Max 8-200 2    
Emirates UAE Boeing 777F 2    
Toki Air Japan ATR ATR 42-600/42-600S   2  
Undisclosed n/a ATR ATR 42-500 2    
Air Tanzania Tanzania Boeing Boeing 787 1    
Air Tanzania Tanzania Boeing 767-300F 1    
TOTAL       479 30 4