United Arab Emirates has just ordered 50 Airbus A350 jets, at the Dubai Air Show. Worth about USD 16 billion, Airbus has won the order from Emirates as the Dubai-based airline continues its international expansion.

The new deal among the Middle-Eastern Carrier and Airbus is expected to help re-shape the airlines fleet as it adjusts to a slowing regional market and an early end to the production of the A380 super-jumbo jetThe A350 being a family of long-range, twin-engine wide-body jet airliners, the 50 jets ordered by emirates are its cornerstone A300-900 variety, accommodating between 300 and 350 passengers.

Emirates Chairman and Chief Executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum told the press “complementing our A380s and 777s, the A350s will give us added operational flexibility in terms of capacity, range and deployment. In effect, we are strengthening our business model to provide efficient and comfortable air transport services to, and through, our Dubia hub”.

Emirates plans to move from the “hub and spoke” model.

With the first of A350 aircraft to be delivered in 2023, the European aerospace giant Chief Executive, Guillaume Faury, expressed that “it is excellent news for Airbus”. Equipped with Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc engines, that are fuel-efficient, much cheaper to operate and are able to support enough traffic to move away from the “hub and spoke” model- where passengers are required to connect through major hubs n international flights. 

The announcement that came through after an underwhelming first day for the middle east’s flagship aerospace expo, with only two jets sold since Sunday. However, the Dubai Air show, known for its record-breaking mega deals, is expected to see fierce competition for deals between Airbus and Boeing, who each own approximately half of the market for large commercial airlines.

With Boeing’s 737 MAX being grounded since march, the question remains whether Airbus would benefit from its competitor’s airline woes?

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