Visitor numbers for this year’s industry showcase broke all previous records, for the 14th consecutive edition, topping 66,346 sector professionals, representing an increase of 9%.
Commenting on this year’s event, Michele van Akelijen, Managing Director, F&E Aerospace, organiser of the Dubai Airshow, said: “Once again, the region’s leading aerospace players and governments have sent out a clear message that the Middle East is at the vanguard of industry growth and advancement as we power into the second half of the decade.
“The pivotal role that Dubai Airshow plays in bringing the global aerospace community together in a dedicated venue, and with a focus on delivering a 360-degree perspective on industry performance, trends and opportunities, is underpinned by the support and participation of our exhibitors here on the ground this week; and with orders exceeding tens of billions, the future of the region’s fast-moving aviation industry looks even brighter than ever.”
Returning to the Dubai Airshow to showcase its C Series of aircraft, Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier, said: “The Middle East has always been an important region for us and the Dubai Airshow is one of those stops on the calendar that we need to make; it's a key date.”
“Everything in the world happens in this part of the world, and Dubai is a crossroads for business in general. We achieved our objectives this week and have made good contacts here at the Dubai Airshow,” said Frédéric Pinlet, President, Concorde Future.
“The Dubai Airshow is probably one of the best networking events in the world and it’s given us a great opportunity to expose our capabilities in the defence and security sector.” Adam Thomas, Spokesman for the Defence and Security Organisation of the UK Government said. He continued, “But most importantly, it gives our small and medium size companies a chance to meet with delegations that we otherwise perhaps wouldn’t meet at all. My view is, if you want to do business in the Gulf, you have to be at the Dubai Airshow.”
Exhibitors and visitors to the show were also treated to a static display of over 150 aircraft, with an international collection of business jets, drones, commercial aircraft, plus military planes and helicopters crowding the purpose-built apron, including the Airbus A350 XWB, which is currently touring a number of key Middle East locations, and Embraer’s new Legacy500, which made its regional debut.
Despite challenging weather conditions towards the end of the week, the popular flying display included fast-paced action over the DWC, Dubai Airshow Site skies from the UAE’s own Al Fursan aerobatics team, impressive handling of the Eurofighter Typhoon and the thrill of Pakistan’s Super Mushak jets. Skyview, the purpose built grandstand provided the general public with a chance to watch from the end of the runway and again proved popular.
Inside the exhibition hall, the 2015 conference schedule attracted speakers and delegates from across the region and beyond, with five days of interactive discussion and debate covering a wealth of hot industry topics. These included the two-day Gulf Aviation & Training Event (GATE), a focus on offsetting initiatives and opportunities at the Technology Co-operation & Investment Conference, and a full day dedicated to Airport Safety & Security.
The next generation of aerospace professionals also enjoyed access to industry leaders and thought shapers during Futures Day, which took place on the final day of the show, with over 3,000 students attending the Airbus and Boeing sponsored seminar sessions before touring the hall to discuss future career opportunities with local and international exhibiting companies.
On the financial front, the final tally for the 2015 order book rounded out at US$37.2 billion, the fourth highest since records began in 1999, with a wide range on onsite deals covering high profile aircraft, maintenance services, infrastructure and systems and flight training programme agreements.
These included 30 Airbus A321s aircraft for leading Vietnamese low-cost carrier Vietjet, worth US$3.6 billion, Etihad Airways’ US$475 million optioned agreement with GE for GE90-115B engines to power its two Boeing 777 Freighters and three Augusta Westland AW609 TiltRotor search and rescue helicopters for the Joint Aviation Command (JAC) of the UAE.