Watch part two

Just back from the Dubai Airshow, from where we will bring you this week's broadcast.

What an amazing event. I will confess ... it was my first airshow and given the scale of this global depression I had my expectations tempered.

But in a place like Dubai, there is no such thing as tempering expectations - they just (pardon the pun) open the hangar doors and throw everything at it.


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  At cruising altitude ... the Dubai Airshow

Imagine, standing on the tarmac of one of the world's busiest aviation hubs and in one visual sweep, seeing everything from a double-decker super-jumbo A380 to a group of unmanned military drones, to an F-22 jet which is so new and advanced that they are not even selling it (!) to a brand new Qatar Airways B777, just delivered from Boeing headquarters in Seattle - it has not even taken a commercial flight yet.

Actually, I was given a guided tour of the new Boeing 777 - an interesting aircraft for Qatar Airways who - from this plane onwards - have chosen not to include a First Class cabin.

I interviewed Akbar al-Bakar, Qatar Airways' CEO, who said the decision was taken so that the airline could get more premium-paying customers on board.

The theory is that so few people can afford First Class, so why bother having it when you can have a bigger Business Class (which was quite frankly up there with a lot of other airlines' First Class) which people can afford.

Me and Randy Tinseth live on Al Jazeera English [Courtesy Randy's Journal/Boeing]
Not bad thinking ... we will have to see if it pays off or not. I think some people still aspire to travel in First Class - the Holy Grail of commercial air travel.

Anyway, back to this week's show, and talk about some big names! Tom Enders, the CEO of Airbus, Akbar al-Bakar from Qatar Airways who I mentioned earlier, Simon Keith from BAE Systems for a look at the military side of things, and Randy Tinseth, a Boeing executive who was game enough to come on air live with us.

Plus our reporter Dan Nolan took a look inside one of Qatar Airways' new executive jets.

Forget about the debate over First versus Business - this is another step up altogether.

I will not post any pictures ... you will have to see the story for yourself.  All I will say is this - gold plated ashtrays!

So make sure you check out Counting the Cost from the Dubai Airshow.

Source: Al Jazeera