Farnborough Airshow Updates: Saudi plans air-cargo roadshows; Airbus mulls fighter options

Farnborough Airshow Updates: Saudi plans air-cargo roadshows; Airbus mulls fighter options
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Updated 22 July 2022

Farnborough Airshow Updates: Saudi plans air-cargo roadshows; Airbus mulls fighter options

Farnborough Airshow Updates: Saudi plans air-cargo roadshows; Airbus mulls fighter options

RIYADH: The Farnborough International Airshow draws to a close on July 22, bringing to an end four days of exhibitions and deals at the UK event.

Here are some of the key developments.

Saudi Arabia planning air cargo roadshows to lure Amazon, Alibaba

In an attempt to scale up air cargo and distribution operations, Saudi Arabia is planning to organize roadshows to lure firms like Amazon, Alibaba, and DHL.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Mohammed Fahad Alkhuraisi, vice president for strategy at the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation said the Kingdom will invite private firms to establish partnerships and set up freight-forwarding and warehousing activities in the country. 

Alkhuraisi also added that the Kingdom aims to handle 4.5 million tons of freight globally by the end of 2030, as the country moves to becoming a logistics hub in the region. 

Saudi Arabia to launch national air carrier

Saudi Minister of Transport Saleh Al-Jasser revealed the Kingdom’s new national air carrier will be based at the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, and it will play a crucial role in the plan to kick-start Saudi Arabia’s “golden era of travel”. 

Alkhuraisi stroke a positive note when asked about the plan in an interview with The National News.

“I know it’s going to fly very soon,” he said.

Airbus mulls fighter options but focuses on FCAS, says CEO

Europe’s Airbus, locked in a dispute with Dassault Aviation over the next stage of a Franco-German-Spanish fighter project, is focused on making the project work as planned, its CEO said on Wednesday.

Airbus is a key partner for Germany in the plan to build a manned and unmanned Future Combat Air System to replace Rafale and Eurofighter jets in cooperation with Dassault Aviation, which is working on behalf of France.

The companies have completed 18-months of initial work known as phase 1A, but are split over workshare for the next stage, a flying demonstrator known as phase 1B.

Dassault, the maker of France’s Rafale, has threatened to walk away from FCAS and implement an unspecified plan B if there is no agreement with Airbus, which is part of Eurofighter.

Asked at the Farnborough Airshow whether Airbus had its own plan B in case of a breakdown, CEO Guillaume Faury stressed the importance of sticking to current proposals.

“There’s a plan A and plan A is FCAS...There are other options, we think of other options but we are working for plan A,” he told Reuters in an interview.

“We want to make it happen. I don’t want to be discussing plan B. That will undermine the likelihood to get to plan A, because plan A is plan A and remains plan A,” he said.

Qatar Airways could revive order for 25 737 MAX planes

Qatar Airways could revive an order for 25 Boeing 737 MAX planes at the Farnborough Airshow, sources told Reuters.

On Monday, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker confirmed that a provisional deal to buy at least 25 of the Boeing planes had lapsed.

Boeing and Qatar Airways declined to comment Wednesday but two sources said the order could be confirmed.

Al Baker told reporters that the memorandum of understanding for 25 planes, and options for 25 more, had expired, confirming a move that emerged in a court dispute with Airbus earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Qatar Airways also finalized an order for 25 Boeing MAX 10 single-aisle passenger jets worth $3.3 billion at the airshow.

“We are honored that Qatar Airways has decided to add Boeing’s single-aisle family to its fleet with improved economics, fuel efficiency and sustainable operations,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

He added: “The 737-10 is ideally suited for Qatar Airways’ regional network and will provide the carrier with the most capable, most fuel-efficient planes in its class.”

Azerbaijan Airlines signs MoU for four more Boeing 787 jets

Azerbaijan Airlines has signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire four more Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner jets, its president Jahangir Askerov said on Wednesday.

Askerov said the airline is due to sign a contract for the planes in December and plans to own 10 of the planes by 2030, allowing it to open new routes across Central Asia. It currently operates two 787-8 jets.

The airline previously had a contract with Boeing to purchase 10 737 MAX jets that it postponed in 2019.

“We’re not thinking about purchasing MAX for now. This would be the topic for negotiations,” Askerov said.

“Azerbaijan Airlines was the first airline in the Caspian and Central Asia region to operate the 787-8 Dreamliner and we currently have two 787-8s in service,” he added.

Boeing working on the next plane

Boeing is currently working on the engineering works of its new jet, despite most of the details regarding the upcoming plane having been kept under the wraps.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Stan Deal, the company’s commercial airplane chief, said that 1,000 engineers have been assigned to its product development group, who are currently spearheading design work on the plane concept and running computer simulations of the manufacturing system that would build it. 

“We don’t advertise this a lot, but all through the downturn we continued to invest — we didn’t shut the hot water off,” said Deal. 

(With input from agencies) 


Japan energy minister emphasizes importance of Saudi and Arab suppliers

Japan energy minister emphasizes importance of Saudi and Arab suppliers
Updated 14 sec ago

Japan energy minister emphasizes importance of Saudi and Arab suppliers

Japan energy minister emphasizes importance of Saudi and Arab suppliers
  • Japan depended on the Middle East for 95 percent of its oil in August and 98 percent in July

TOKYO: Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry NISHIMURA Yasutoshi requested Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries to guarantee stable supply of oil.

Nishimura said he had met with executives from Aramco and has proposed talks with Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud.

He also met recently with Sultan Al-Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), as well as Talal Al-Awfi, Oman’s Minister of Energy and Minerals.

“I requested a stable supply of oil and LNG,” Nishimura said at a press conference at the ministry in reply to a question from Arab News Japan. “I got the reply that they will continue to cooperate with us.”

In the absence of imports from Iran and Russia due to sanctions enforced by the US, more than 90 percent of Japan’s supplies now come from Arab sources.

“It is important for Japan, which lacks resources, to promote a stable supply of crude oil,” Nishimura said. “It is true that oil imports from Russia have stopped and dependence on the Middle East is increasing. We are making decisions on specific sources of crude oil from the perspective of the market.”

“Japan depended on the Middle East for 95 percent of its oil in August and 98 percent in July, so we recognize the region as extremely important in terms of energy security and a stable supply of crude oil.”

Japan is looking to expand its energy business with the Middle East to include clean energy as well as oil and gas.

“We believe that the Middle East is also playing an important role in building the hydrogen and ammonia supply chain,” Nishimura said. “I hope such cooperative relationships will also be strengthened. Furthermore, Japan will strive to diversify its supply sources from the viewpoint of stable supply and security, and domestically also pursue all options, including the utilization and diversification of renewable energy and nuclear energy.”


Anaam International plans to raise capital to $42mn through a rights issue 

Anaam International plans to raise capital to $42mn through a rights issue 
Updated 40 min 13 sec ago

Anaam International plans to raise capital to $42mn through a rights issue 

Anaam International plans to raise capital to $42mn through a rights issue 

RIYADH: Saudi poultry processing firm Anaam International Holding Group’s board recommended an increase in capital of SR158 million ($42 million) through a rights issue.

The capital increase is aimed at boosting the working capital, lowering the loan rates, and supporting the business growth of the company, according to a bourse filing.

The capital hike is subject to the approval of the relevant official authorities and the company’s shareholders.

Wasatah Capital was appointed to act as the financial advisor to the offering.


Egypt’s non-oil economy under strain as inflationary pressure grows: S&P Global

Egypt’s non-oil economy under strain as inflationary pressure grows: S&P Global
Updated 04 October 2022

Egypt’s non-oil economy under strain as inflationary pressure grows: S&P Global

Egypt’s non-oil economy under strain as inflationary pressure grows: S&P Global

RIYADH: Business conditions in Egypt’s non-oil economy continue to be under strain with the country’s Purchasing Managers’ Index staying unchanged at 47.6 in September compared to the previous month, according to S&P Global.

According to S&P Global, a PMI above 50.0 marks growth, while those below 50.0 signals contraction.

Egypt’s PMI signals a solid deterioration in business conditions, albeit one that was the joint-weakest for seven months, as inflationary pressures, energy rationing, import restrictions, and weak demand continue to impact the country’s non-oil economy.  

“Non-oil activity in Egypt continued to suffer from weak demand, geopolitical tensions and surging inflation in the final month of the third quarter,” said Shreeya Patel, an economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

She added: “Firms nevertheless remain hopeful that macroeconomic conditions would improve in the medium-term, but for now, non-oil Egyptian businesses are challenged to operate in an environment which includes persistently high prices, weak demand and growing uncertainty.”


Saudi Arabia’s non-oil economy continues to maintain growth as PMI hits 56.6% in Sept: S&P

Saudi Arabia’s non-oil economy continues to maintain growth as PMI hits 56.6% in Sept: S&P
Updated 34 min 13 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s non-oil economy continues to maintain growth as PMI hits 56.6% in Sept: S&P

Saudi Arabia’s non-oil economy continues to maintain growth as PMI hits 56.6% in Sept: S&P

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia continues to maintain ongoing expansion in its non-oil economy as both of its key indicators — output and new orders — recorded gains, registering the Kingdom’s Purchasing Managers’ Index at 56.6 in September, the latest data from S&P Global revealed.

Although down on August's 57.7, Saudi Arabia managed to maintain this growth for the 25th successive month as the Kingdom steadily progresses in its journey to diversify its economy in line with Vision 2030.

According to S&P Global, readings above 50.0 mark growth, while those below 50.0 signals contraction. 

“Albeit down on August, Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector economy retained an impressive pace of growth during September, especially against the backdrop of increasingly challenging global economic conditions,” said David Owen, an economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence. 

He added: “Both output and new orders rose at rates above their averages for their current 25-month growth sequences, whilst confidence in the quality of goods and services provided meant firms expect to successfully convert into hard contract wins a high proportion of what is an extremely positive pipeline of new business.”


Global alliance on green economy launched in Dubai

Global alliance on green economy launched in Dubai
Updated 04 October 2022

Global alliance on green economy launched in Dubai

Global alliance on green economy launched in Dubai
  • UAE’s Economy Ministry is setting up shop inside the immersive virtual world

DUBAI: A “Global Alliance on Green Economy” was launched at the 8th World Green Economy Summit, which concluded in Dubai.

The summit was held under the theme “Climate action leadership through collaboration: The roadmap to net-zero.” A large number of ministers, experts, decision-makers, officials, representatives of institutions, and the academic community from around the world took part in the summit.

The alliance aims to build a coalition of countries, prioritizing a green economy in the context of climate action and sustainable development, to enhance the capacity of developing countries, provide support for their green economy transition projects and exchange knowledge on implementation.

“If we want to fast-track our transition to a green economy, we must all work together, and to do so, we need one platform with one common objective. The UAE Global Alliance on Green Economy seeks to provide such a platform,” said Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE minister of climate change and environment.

Bet on tech

The UAE, which already boasts the world’s tallest skyscraper and has launched a bold Mars mission, now hopes to become a pioneer in the depths of the metaverse.

In a project launched at Dubai’s gleaming Museum of the Future, it announced that the UAE’s Economy Ministry was setting up shop inside the immersive virtual world that is now taking shape. 

If we want to fast-track our transition to a green economy, we must all work together.

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE minister of climate change and environment

Those who don their virtual reality goggles or use other means to venture within will find a ministry open for business with companies and even ready to sign bilateral agreements with foreign governments, officials said.

The metaverse is an online world where users will eventually be able to game, work and study, its proponents say — although it is still in a “test” phase, the UAE’s economy minister conceded.

Abdulla bin Touq Al-Marri was speaking at the inaugural Dubai Metaverse Assembly, held at the museum whose innovative ring shape decorated with Arabic calligraphy flanks the city’s main thoroughfare.

Representatives of tech giants mingled with entrepreneurs and developers exploring the potential of the metaverse, a network of digital spaces intended as an extension of the physical world.

DFM adopts new methodology

Dubai Financial Market said on Monday it planned to adopt a new methodology for its main equities indices, which will come into effect in the fourth quarter, according to Reuters.

The Dubai bourse’s general index, Shariah index and sector indices, will be calculated by S&P Dow Jones Indices, it said in a statement.

A key improvement among the changes is a limit on the weighting of a listed company to 10 percent from 20 percent, which should result in a larger representation of companies on the DFM’s benchmarks, it said.

The Dubai bourse said the index calculation will be based on actual free float adjusted market capitalization, and that the indices will be rebalanced on a quarterly basis, from semi-annually currently.

The bourse plans to align its sectors with an industry classification standard which is followed by institutional clients, it said.

DFM will have seven sectors: Financials, industrials, real estate, utilities, communication services, materials and consumer staples.

The bourse has invited market participants for consultations on the index methodology ahead of possible changes, with the revised indexes to be launched in Q4, it said.