DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Gulf air carriers are putting on an eye-popping display of spending power and aggressive expansion efforts on day one of the Dubai Airshow with Boeing a major beneficiary.
The company's planned 777X long-haul airliner grabbed the bulk of orders worth about $130 billion.
European rival Airbus opened the five-day airshow by announcing a $23 billion order for 50 A380s — its main competition for the 777X — by Dubai-based Emirates.
The Dubai Airshow is seen as an increasingly important barometer on the state of the industry and the rising roles of the big-spending Gulf carriers Etihad, Qatar Airways and Emirates as they compete for routes and critical stopover traffic between Asia, Europe and the Americas. This year's edition appears on track to surpass the record $155 billion in deals in the 2007 event before the global economic downturn.