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Key International Airshow Opens in Dubai

  • VOA News

An Emirati woman, top right, and others view a replica of the Eurofighter Typhoon jet during the opening day of the Dubai Airshow in Dubai, UAE, Nov. 17, 2013.

An Emirati woman, top right, and others view a replica of the Eurofighter Typhoon jet during the opening day of the Dubai Airshow in Dubai, UAE, Nov. 17, 2013.

The biennial Dubai Airshow opened Sunday at the new Al-Maktoum International airport with about 1,000 exhibitors from the global civil and military aviation industries showing off their newest technology.

The five-day Dubai event has become a key sales battleground for rival aircraft builders Boeing and Airbus, which are both vying for sales worth billions.

The first day of the show was dominated by the formal launch of U.S.-based Boeing's newest passenger jet, the 777X. In an early deal, Emirates Airline placed an order Sunday for 150 of the long-haul aircraft in a deal worth $76 billion.

Europe's Airbus has had difficulty selling its A380, the world's largest commercial aircraft, after hairline cracks were discovered on the wings last year.

However, Airbus is expected to join Boeing in doing a brisk business in the coming days as various airlines in the Middle East look to expand amid stiff competition for passengers and cargo operations.

The airshow is also giving Dubai a chance to display its huge new airport, which officials say could some day handle 160 million passengers a year, boosting Dubai's growing profile as a global aviation hub.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
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