Upgrades to the UAE’s fleet of F-16s were among the purchases made at this year’s Dubai Airshow ©Lockheed Martin
Upgrades to the UAE’s fleet of F-16s were among the purchases made at this year’s Dubai Airshow ©Lockheed Martin

US ‘preferred supplier’ for UAE aviation

28 November 2017

The US is the “preferred supplier” for the UAE’s aviation needs, the country’s ambassador to the US has said. 

Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE’s ambassador to the US, said American firms were the big winners at this year’s Dubai Airshow, securing more than $44bn in new orders from private sector airlines and defence.

Al Otaiba said: “US companies remain the preferred supplier for UAE commercial and military aviation requirements.

“US exports of commercial and military aircraft, services and equipment to the UAE make up the largest share of America’s $19bn trade surplus with the UAE.” 

Among the deals made at the airshow include an order by Emirates airline for 40 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, valued at $15.1bn. The US Department of Commerce estimated that Emirates’s order will support the creation of 78,000 jobs across the US supply chain.

A separate $27bn order was made by regional airline flydubai for 225 Boeing 737 Max aeroplanes, the single largest order for single-aisle jets by a Middle Eastern carrier. These aeroplanes will also be manufactured in the US. 

“The UAE’s airlines rely on Boeing airplanes to meet the growing demand for air travel in the region, and between the region and Asia, Africa, Europe and North America,” said Al Otaiba.

“Over the last decade, UAE customers have purchased over $150 billion in Boeing aircraft, supporting hundreds of thousands of American jobs.”

In the defence sector, the UAE agreed a $1.6bn deal with Lockheed Martin to upgrade the air force’s fleet of 80 F-16 fighter jets, and a $684m deal with Raytheon for precision-guided munitions.

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