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Day 1 at the Dubai Airshow: A long-awaited newcomer and a hefty order

Nov. 14, 2021
3 min read
Day 1 at the Dubai Airshow: A long-awaited newcomer and a hefty order
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The Dubai Airshow kicked off on Sunday, becoming the first major aerospace industry gathering since the Singapore Airshow in February, 2020, as COVID-19 began to spread around the world.

While the biennial Dubai Airshow typically has more of a Middle East and defense-focus than the Paris Airshow and Farnborough show outside of London — which switch off every other summer — Dubai 2021 being the first pandemic-era gathering significantly elevated the stage on which the show is taking place.

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On the civil aviation side, the highlight on day one was the Boeing 777X, the long-awaited next generation of Boeing's flagship wide-body aircraft. The plane, which has undergone numerous setbacks, delaying its planned delivery date by three years, made its first public appearance — and its first true long-haul flight, traversing the path from Seattle to Dubai over the course of 15 hours last week.

The 777X was opened to limited public and media tours, and performed aerial maneuvers during a display in the afternoon — you can read more about the first look inside the plane here.

Boeing-777X at Dubai Airshow (Photo by David Slotnick/The Points Guy)

Boeing did not announce any new orders for the plane, however. It remains to be seen whether a ninth airline joins the list of eight carriers eagerly — and in some cases, impatiently — awaiting the wide-body's delivery.

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More: First look: Inside Boeing’s first prototype 777X

Boeing's rival Airbus, on the other hand, did announce a major order on day one. Indigo Partners, which owns several budget airlines including Frontier, signed a firm order for 255 additional A321neo family aircraft, including A321neos and A321XLRs. With the new order, the conglomerate's airlines — which, alongside Frontier, include Volaris in Mexico, JetSMART in Chile and Argentina, and Wizz Air in Europe — have a whopping 1,145 aircraft in the A320 family on order.

Of the 255 additional aircraft, 91 of them will go to Frontier, all A321neos. Another 102 — 75 A321neos and 27 A321XLRs — will go to Wizz Air, 39 A321neos will go to Volaris, and JetSMART, which recently signed a codeshare agreement with American Airlines, will get 21 A321neos and two A321XLRs.

More: Take a look at the new Alaska Airlines 737 MAX that Boeing is using as a flying laboratory

Although Boeing is expected to announce a freighter version of the 777X possibly as soon as this week, and Airbus is expected to announce the first order for its A350 freighter, neither came to fruition on Sunday, giving industry observers something to keep an eye out for in the coming days.

The Dubai Airshow runs through Thursday November 18, so be sure to check back for more on-the-ground reporting from TPG.

Featured image by David Slotnick
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023