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Boeing expected to launch 777X at Dubai Airshow

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, at 5:46 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, at 8:09 a.m.

Beechcraft Corp., Bombardier Aerospace, Boeing and other planemakers are heading to the Dubai Airshow in the United Arab Emirates next week – a show where analysts predict Boeing will formally launch its 777X jumbo jet with a large order from Emirates.

The biennial show, held Nov. 17 through 21, is expected to attract 1,000 exhibitors, 60,000 visitors and up to 1,500 members of the media, organizers say.

The 777X launch is expected to be the “biggest nugget of news,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Robert Stallard wrote in an analyst report entitled “Operation Desert Schmooze.”

Boeing is expected to launch the 777X, a new version of the 777, with more than 100 orders for the plane from Emirates and likely other sales, Stallard wrote.

“The order has been well flagged,” Stallard said. He hopes with the launch, Boeing will release the jet’s capacity, range, engine technology and other information.

Airbus will likely have some news of its own, such as a significant order for its new A350 and orders for “possibly a handful of A380s,” he said.

Bombardier, meanwhile, is forecasting a market for 1,200 business jets in the Middle East over the next 20 years, driven by the region’s oil exports, long distances between major cities and difficult surface transportation, the company said.

About 100 Bombardier Learjet, Challenger and Global business jets are currently in operation in the Middle East, it said.

Wichita-based Beechcraft will exhibit its line of King Airs – the King Air 350i, King Air 350ER and King Air C90GTx. It will also display its AT-6 military aircraft for the first time in Dubai.

Bombardier is showcasing its wide-body Challenger 300 business jet, the large Global 6000 and the Q400 NextGen turboprop airliner at the show.

Cessna Aircraft did not respond to inquiries about whether it will have a presence at the show, although Cessna is included in a list of exhibitors on the show’s website.

On the business aircraft front, Dubai has no shortage of “HNW (high-net worth) types that can shop around for a new medium or large cabin bling bizjet,” Stallard wrote.

In 2007, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Waleed bought an Airbus A380 for personal use.

“We think Dubai is possibly one of the best shows to gauge discerning customer interest in new bizjet models like Gulfstream’s G280 and G650, Bombardier’s Global Express and the range of higher end Dassault Falcons,” he wrote.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @mmcmillin.

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