Dubai Airshow 2023
  Part 1


Chakrit Samithinan


Chakrit Samithinan & Saichol Krai-amat



Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

Gulfstream G700 (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)


The 2023 edition of the Dubai Airshow took place at the Dubai World Central International Airport (DWC), also known as Al Maktoum Airport, from 13th to 17th November 2023. This was the writer’s first visit to the Dubai Airshow. The airport is Dubai’s second international airport, the first one being known as DXB which is presently handling the bulk of the arriving passengers. DWC airport is situated about 55 km from the center of Dubai in an area which is surrounded by lots of empty space (desert). As a consequence, future expansion of Dubai’s airport facilities will take place at DWC international Airport and plans are afoot to expand facilities to be able to handle 180 million arrivals by 2033.

The Dubai Airshow is an important venue for displaying the latest models of passenger aircrafts from Boeing, Airbus, Embraer and other manufacturers, and many will not only be shown on the ground but also in flight. It is not open to the broad public but the organizers built a large grandstand for the public outside the airport where people could observe the flying display. Visitors who wish to attend the exhibition and flying display need to be either exhibitors, trade visitors or press representatives. Trade visitors may book an entrance ticket valid for the entire 5 days at a cost of USD 100 in advance. No tickets are on sale during the show. This selection of visitors means that the exhibition halls are not as crowded as at other aircraft exhibitions and less safety checks are necessary. For example there was no safety check when visiting the static display on the airport apron. This year, a host of conferences were held dealing with a variety of topical subjects such as space, sustainability, advanced aerial mobility and others.
This year’s airshow is said to have been the biggest ever with 1’400 exhibitors from 95 countries in attendance. During the official five days, 135’000 visitors are said to have attended the exhibition, the various conferences and the flying display. Organizers stated that during the exhibition, over USD 100 billion worth of transactions had been booked.


Military Aircraft


On opening day, a great number of civilian passenger aircrafts were on display, particularly from the UAE and the nearby Arab countries but many aircrafts left after the second day. Among the aircrafts on display, the new models from Boeing and Airbus created the biggest interest. Boeing presented their new 777X-9 aircraft and Airbus came with an Airbus A350-1000. Both aircrafts were also in the flying display and the pilots of these aircrafts demonstrated the exceptional agility of these planes when there are no passengers or freight on board. There were a number of airlines showing off their latest liveries, particularly on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, among them the Saudi airlines Saudia and the new Riyadh Air which has yet to begin flight operations.


UAE Hughes AH-64D Apache (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

UAE Air Tractor AT-802i BPA (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

UAE Boeing CH-47CF Chinook (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

UAE Sikorsky UH-60M Blackhawk  (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

UAE General Dynamics F-16F Falcon (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)


UAE Mirage 2000AED (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

UAE CASA CN-295M (Picture courtesy Saichol Krai-amat)

UAE SAAB-Bombardier GlobalEye (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

Pakistani Air Force CAC/PAC JF-17 Thunder (Picture courtesy Saichol Krai-amat)

Pakistani Air Force CAC/PAC JF-17 Thunder (Picture courtesy Saichol Krai-amat)


Russian IL-76MD-90A (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

KAI KUH-1 Surion (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

Mil Mi-171A3 (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

Kamov Ka-52E (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

Hongdu L-15 Falcon (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)


Boeing und Airbus


Boeing was the clear winner when it comes to the number of aircrafts booked during the show. They booked 295 orders from airlines such as Ethiopian, Emirates, FlyDubai, Sun Express, SCAT, Royal Jordanian and Royal Air Maroc. These included 55 additional Boeing 777X-9 for Emirates. Emirates also booked 15 Airbus A350-900, a type which was also ordered by Ethiopian and EgyptAir. Airbus furthermore received an additional order for the Airbus A220-200 from AirBaltic which will make them the largest operator for A220 in the world. In the Business- and Corporate Jet sector, there were a few attractive exhibits such as the Airbus A219-111 of Beond, the Boeing BBJ of RoyalJet and the Bombardier aircrafts Challenger 650, Global 7500 and Legacy 650. Also on display were the Pilatus PC-24 and Embraer’s Praetor 600.


Airbus A-219-111 Beond (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

Airbus A-320-200P2F Pradhaan Air Express (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

Airbus A-321Neo Air Arabia  (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

Airbus A-321Neo Air Arabia  (Picture courtesy Saichol Krai-amat)

Airbus  A330-800 Kuwait (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)


Airbus A-380 Emirates (Picture courtesy Saichol Krai-amat)

Boeing 777X-9 (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

Boeing 787 Saudia (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

Boeing 787-9  Dreamliner Riyadh Air (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Etihad (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)


Boeing BBJ RoyalJet(Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

Pilatus PC-24 (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

Embraer ERJ-195 (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

Dassault Falcon 2000LX (Picture courtesy Saichol Krai-amat)

Bombardier Global 7500  (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)


However, the static park did not only contain civilian aircrafts but also military aircrafts and helicopters from manufacturers in the USA, France, Germany, Brazil, India, Pakistan, Russia and China. Many of these aircrafts were featured in the 3-hour flying program and the various demos will be dealt with in Part 2 of the Dubai Airshow report. Among the military aircrafts which remained in the static park were: two Eurofighter from the RAF, one Eurofighter from the UAE, Embraer KC-390 Millenium, EMB-314 Super Tucano, USAF HC-130J Combat King II, A-10C Thunderbolt II, C-130J Hercules as well as Boeing KC-46A Pegasus Tanker/Transporter and Sikorsky MH-605 Nighthawk. To everyone’s surprise, Russia was represented in Dubai with a separate Pavillion outside the Main-Exhibition hall and they had the new transporter llyushin Il-76MD90A(E) and the Mil Mi-171A helicopter on static display.


USAF Fairchild A-10C Thunderbiolt I(Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

USAF C-130J Super Hercules  (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

USAF Boeing KC-46A Pegasus (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

USAF Boeing KC-46A Pegasus (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

USAF Boeing KC-46A Pegasus (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)


USAF General Dynamics F-16C "New Jersey ANG" (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

German AF A400M Atlas  (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

Kuwait Air Force BaE Thphoon (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

Indian Air Force HAL Tejas (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

Emirates Boeing 777 at sunset(Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)


last update 29. December 2024

Written 24. December 2024


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