A Boeing employee checks out a GE Avition engine for a 777 Stephen Brashear, Getty Images

DUBAI AIRSHOW ROUNDUP: Emirates Signs $16 Billion Contract with GE Aviation

Plus billions of dollars of more news from United Arab Emirates about Airbus, Boeing, Saab and Tata.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Emirates announced Monday at the Dubai Airshow that it has signed a $16 billion maintenance contract with GE Aviation for its fleet of 150 Boeing 777s.

The contract covers “the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of the GE9X engines that will power the airline’s fleet ... over a period of 12 years,” the carrier said in a statement, adding that it was Emirates’ largest contract of its kind.

In 2013, Emirates signed a $76 billion contract for the 150 Boeing 777X twin-engine aircraft, powered by GE’s new GE9X engine, in what was the single largest order by value in the history of U.S. commercial aviation.

The airline said Monday it has also signed a second, 12-year contract with GE Aviation worth $36 million for maintenance and inventory support for various avionics, electrical power and mechanical systems on all its Boeing 777s in service and the 44 more on order.

JET AIRWAYS and BOEING: India’s Jet Airways confirmed on Monday an order for 75 Boeing 737 planes previously listed on the U.S. manufacturer’s book as for an undisclosed client.

It was the first big announcement at the show, which opened Sunday amid low expectations for major sales.

“The order, previously attributed to an unidentified customer, includes conversions of 25 Next-Generation 737s to 737 MAX 8s, as well as options and purchase rights for an additional 50 aircraft,” Boeing said in a statement released at a joint press conference at the show. “The announcement marks the largest order in Jet Airways’ history and supports the airline’s replacement strategy.”

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane costs $110 million at list price. The carrier, partly owned by Etihad Airways, has a fleet of 115 aircraft.

VIETJET and AIRBUS: Vietnamese carrier Vietjet signed a deal with Airbus at the show on Tuesday to buy 30 single-aisle A321 planes worth a total of $3.6 billion.

The order is for nine A321ceo and 21 A321neo, according to  a statement issued by the airline at the signing ceremony.  “I can confirm this is a firm order,” Airbus COO for customers John Leahy said, adding that the client “did not pay the catalog price,” but did not disclose the discount.

Vietjet CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao said the “order for additional A321s responds to our growth strategy and to the need for additional seat capacity on both domestic and international routes.”

Vietjet first took to the skies at the end of 2011 and currently operates a fleet of 29 A320 family aircraft including three A321s, it says. With Tuesday’s announcement, Vietjet has placed firm orders with Airbus for a total of 99 A320 family aircraft.

UAE and SAAB: The United Arab Emirates Air Force announced Monday a $1.27 billion deal with Swedish defense giant Saab to purchase two surveillance planes and upgrade two others.

The two new aircraft are Global 6000 surveillance planes, while the old planes to be upgraded are part of the UAE’s fleet of Saab 340s, said Major General Abdullah al-Hashimi at a joint press conference at the show. The date of delivery has not been finalized, but could be within two years, he said.

BOEING and TATA: Boeing also announced at the show that it’s joining up with India’s Tata Advanced Systems to make airframe parts for the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

After initially building a manufacturing center in India for the Apache, they will expand the partnership to compete for further work on Boeing commercial and defense platforms. The firms gave no financial details.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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