Dubai leasing firm cancels Boeing 747 order


By Jon Ostrower

Boeing Co. (BA) said Thursday that Dubai Aerospace Enterprise had cancelled an order for five 747 freighter jets, the latest move by the Middle Eastern leasing firm to scale back an ambitious expansion plan unveiled six years ago. The government-controlled lessor had ordered 200 jets from Airbus and Boeing with a list price of $27 billion in 2007 as part of Dubai’s broader effort to build its aerospace industry, only for the financial crisis to dent its ability to fund the planes.

Boeing confirmed Thursday that the leasing firm had dropped its five remaining 747-8 freighters on order, having cancelled another five in December.

DAE Capital, the Dubai-based firm’s leasing unit, has a fleet of 52 Airbus and Boeing jets, according to its website. In recent years, it has cancelled dozens of 787, 777, 737, A350 and A320 jets as it struggled to stabilize its financial future. Boeing said the firm retained orders for five more 777 freighters.

The move leaves Boeing with a net loss of two orders for its revamped 747 so far this year, despite efforts to push sales against a backdrop of the weak global air cargo market.

These include a complex deal involving Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (CPCAY, 0293.HK) and Air China Ltd. (AIRYY, 601111.SH, 0753.HK) last month. Cathay’s order for three freighters had been logged as a firm order, but Air China’s purchase of three 747-8 passenger jets was still pending approval by the Chinese government. More infonline/online.js?js=v.1.0.6′ type=’text/javascript’>