Cargo was a huge success at the Dubai Air Show as airlines take advantage of the shipping crisis.

  • Air Cargo was one of the major winners of the Dubai Air Show due to the shipping crisis.
  • Airbus and Boeing have placed orders for both new and modified cargo jets to meet growing demand.
  • Boeing stopped launching the 777X freighter while Airbus launched its A350 freighter.

International air shows are usually the time to showcase the latest and greatest innovations for airlines that want to enhance the flight experience for passengers. But this year’s Dubai Air Show saw a big win not only for the passengers but also for the packages.

For most epidemics, air cargo is on the rise, and its importance has only been strengthened by the current shipping crisis. Companies that in the past relied on shipping and are now loosening wallet wires and paying for shipping their goods in equivalent first class shipping.

And the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, including Airbus and Boeing, are in talks to add cargo planes, for which there was no shortage of orders in Dubai.

Boeing launched the air show with an order of its Boeing converted freighters, including nine 767-300BCFs for DHL Express and 11 737-800BCFs for leasing company Icelease. The three new conversion lines in the UK and Canada announced in Dubai will also increase Boeing’s ability to convert aircraft from cargo to cargo aircraft, a process that can take months, depending on the size of the aircraft.

DHL Express Boeing 767-300F

A DHL Express Boeing 767-300F.

A Perim Photography /

Airbus then launched the Airbus A350 Freighter project with an order of seven aircraft from the Air Lease Corporation, marking the first next-generation Airbus aircraft to enter the cargo realm. The A350 freighter, which is due to arrive in 2026, has a 109-ton payload capacity with reduced fuel burning and emissions.

However, Boeing has stopped launching the cargo variant of its upcoming 777X aircraft, which will soon become the world’s largest certified twin-engine passenger aircraft and was based in Dubai.

Mike Fleming, senior vice president in charge of commercial customer support and commercial derivatives programs, cited the backlog that Boeing is currently experimenting with with three commercial aircraft working for certification.

“Now, if we had to do everything, what was going on in our world was freight, we could do it,” Fleming told reporters at the 777X Freighter in Dubai. Boeing’s 777-900, 737 Max 7, and 737 Max 10 aircraft are yet to be confirmed, and the 777X project has already been delayed following its initial estimates.

Boeing 777X at Dubai Air Show 2021

Boeing 777X at Dubai Air Show 2021

Thomas Pellini / Inside

Fleming did not estimate how long the 777X freighter project would take, but he did not anticipate any potential challenges with the project. Boeing has introduced cargo variants of almost every jet aircraft, including the 727, 737, 747, 757, and 767 aircraft.

“We’ve built a lot of cargo planes, that’s what we do with almost all of our aircraft models,” Fleming said. “When we launch an airplane, there is always a cargo in the project and it is very straightforward.”

Israel Aerospace Industries has acquired a new client with the UAE, which has pledged to convert its four Boeing 777-300ER passenger planes into cargo planes. According to Nabil Sultan, Divisional Senior Vice President, Emirates Sky Cargo, this is a natural fit, as Emirates has a vast fleet of Boeing aircraft, some of which are on the verge of extinction.

The “Big Twin”, as the IAI calls it, will be the largest twin-engine cargo plane in the sky and is one of the alternative solutions to the Boeing 747. Ordered two new Boeing 777-200 freighters valued at $ 704 million.

Israel Aerospace Industries Boeing 777-300ER "Big twin" Cargo plane

Israel Aerospace Industries’ Boeing 777-300ER “Big Twin” cargo plane.

Israel Aerospace Industries

“When you have a mix, you are able to meet many of the needs of your market. [better] And I think that’s why we keep buying new planes as we expand our modified equipment, “Sultan told Insider.

A day after the Dubai Air Show concludes, Airbus acquires its second customer for the A350 Freighter, announcing an upcoming deal with CMA CGM. Four A350F aircraft will be included in the shipping magnet’s fleet of five A330-200 freighters and 545 ships.

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