Connecting the World

Connecting the World

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The United Arab Emirates and the United States share a vibrant bilateral commercial aviation relationship. Aircraft sales have helped solidify the UAE’s standing as the US’ largest export market in the Middle East and North Africa region for eight consecutive years. Exports from the US aviation sector to the UAE help support hundreds of thousands of jobs and have billions of dollars in annual economic impact in the US. For example, UAE’s Etihad Airways is responsible for nearly 20 percent of the total 149 Boeing 787-10s that are currently on order. The 787-10 aircraft will be assembled at Boeing's Charleston facility, helping support 7,000 Boeing jobs in South Carolina.

Combined, Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways are the world’s largest purchasers of wide-body Boeing aircraft. In 2013, UAE airlines ordered $120 billion in Boeing planes, the largest commercial aircraft order in history. And over the past 10 years, UAE customers ordered $150 billion in Boeing planes, supporting 781,000 US jobs.

  • Emirates has 123 Boeing 777s in its fleet and an additional 166 777 aircraft on order, according to Boeing data.
  • Etihad Airways has $36 billion in Boeing aircraft orders, including 71 787 Dreamliners, all powered by GE engines. According to Boeing, Etihad also flies 23 777s, and has many more on order.
  • Flydubai recently became the first carrier in the region to operate Boeing's newest 737-MAX 8 plane and is purchasing 76 Boeing 737-MAX aircraft.

UAE airlines now connect 12 US airports to Dubai and Abu Dhabi and beyond with more than 250 weekly flights. These flights facilitate inbound Foreign Direct Investment in the US, encourage US tourism, and open new markets to American businesses. And as UAE airlines increase their flights to the US, they are hiring more US-based employees. In 2014, US Customs and Border Protection opened its first preclearance facility in the Middle East region at Abu Dhabi International Airport. This facility helps enhance US security and facilitates more efficient travel to the US from the UAE and other countries.